The Strathcona Gardens has gotten the largest portion of the Safe Restart grant so far. File photo

The Strathcona Gardens has gotten the largest portion of the Safe Restart grant so far. File photo

SRD allocates provincial safe restart funds

A portion still held in reserve for future potential costs

The Strathcona Regional District has approved the allocation of a portion of their COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant.

The district received $539,000 from the province to help cover unexpected expenses and lost income incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. The financial team at the regional district has combed through some of the preliminary numbers from 2020 to see where those funds could make the most impact on the regional district’s budget.

“Our financial officer has done a phenomenal job looking at the budget and the areas that are applicable within those for distribution of the funds, looking at how some of those budgets can be balanced and then distributing the money in the appropriate spots where we had expenses,” said Chief Administrator David Leitch at last week’s SRD meeting.

“This has been an odd year financially with the financial plan, but we actually have completed the majority of the financial plan and we’ve input a number. Strathcona Gardens is the facility that has had the largest impact, obviously, due to the loss of revenues in there,” he added.

Strathcona Gardens typically depends heavily on revenue, but since recreation activities have been restricted due to the pandemic, the budget has not quite aligned with what the district had in mind when they were writing the 2020 financial plan.

The allocation for the facility is $211,356. An additional $52,260 will be going to different operating budgets, $16,750 to parks in the electoral areas and the remaining $258,634 will be held in reserve to be allocated by the end of this year.

“We know we’re still going to have some impact from COVID, especially in our recreation facility,” Leitch said. “Our recommendation is to allocate the funds that we’ve identified here and then keep the rest in a reserve for us to work into the 2022 financial plan and allocated accordingly.”

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