City queues up ICE-T projects

An airport runway extension, train station, and waterfront improvements are being considered by council for ICE-T funding

The city has four projects in the queue for funding consideration from the Island Coastal Economic Trust.

One of the four proposed projects is a joint application with the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District for an extension to the runway at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport.

The second project discussed was improvements to the city’s waterfront including Canal Beach and Harbour Quay.

At a previous city council meeting, Coun. Cindy Solda listed a series of projects she was interested in pursuing including the $250,000 Clocktower renovation and Harbour Quay washroom improvements.

A third project would see the city partner with the ACRD to extend and connect the Valley’s outdoor trail network.

The final project would involve constructing a train station and kiosk near the train tracks on Johnston Road.

ICE-T has approximately $4 million available to fund approved projects.

The deadline for applications is September.

There are no guarantees of a successful application for project money, Councillor Hira Chopra said.

Council may agree on a project but there are still hurdles to be cleared, he added. “The people at ICE-T still have to make a decision yet and there might be other applications.”

One major consideration whatever decision council makes is the city’s budget. Communities making applications for ICE-T funding have to make a financial contribution to the project.

In Port Alberni’s case, ICE-T will fund 50 per cent of project costs. Other communities are required to contribute up to two-thirds of the cost.

None of the projects discussed to date have any money set aside for them in the city’s budget, Chopra said. “There’s money in contingency and reserve funds though.”

Cursory talks with ICE-T have been held to get a feel for what’s out there, city economic development manager Pat Deakin said.

“We chatted in general about where things are at with us and what is eligible for funding and what’s not,” he said.

The city has had projects funded with ICE-T money before, including contributing to the $3.5 million Fishermen’s Harbour Improvements with the Port Alberni Port Authority; the $250,000 uptown revitalization; and the Runner’s Trail in partnership with the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and Tseshaht First Nation.


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