Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom traveled to Tumbler Ridge August 20, 2007 to announce a $291,000 grant from the provincial government?s Towns for Tomorrow initiative will be given to the District of Tumbler Ridge. The funding will be used to upgrade the community centre and install an elevator so that residents can access facilities on every level of the community centre more conveniently.
The funding will come from The Towns of Tomorrow initiative, one of four programs announced by Premier Gordon Campbell at the 2006 Union of BC municipalities convention. The Towns for Tomorrow program will provide $21 million, over three years, to assist communities with a population of 5000 or less with infrastructure improvements. The government will provide up to 80 percent of funding for projects up to $500,000. MLA Blair Lekstrom said that the infrastructure proposals varied from sewer and water projects to accessibility issues.
MLA Blair Lekstrom said that making an announcement like this in your own riding is ?that much nicer?. Being Parliamentary Secretary of Rural Development allows MLA Blair Lekstrom to deal will rural areas which he considers the ?backbone of the province? as it?s in these areas where we ?extract our resources?. Redistributing wealth to these rural areas will help with projects that communities would otherwise be unable to fund.
Mayor Mike Caisley thanked MLA Blair Lekstrom on behalf of all the residents of Tumbler Ridge. The Community Centre is the central point of our community and Mayor Caisley stated that the lack of an elevator between levels of the community centre was not only an accessibility issue, but it was also a safety issue. The construction is scheduled to commence in September 2007 and will hopefully be finished by the summer of 2008.