Skimmers were busy throughout the 2017 wildfire season in the Cariboo.                                KELOWNA CAPITAL NEWS PHOTO

Skimmers were busy throughout the 2017 wildfire season in the Cariboo. KELOWNA CAPITAL NEWS PHOTO

BC Rural Dividend funds wildfire recovery projects in Cariboo

Several local and area projects selected for some crucial funding from Province

Under the BC Rural Dividend Program, the province is providing more than $2 million to fund 20 projects for community organizations and First Nations in wildfire-impacted communities in the Cariboo.

During the fourth intake, applications for rural dividend funding from wildfire-impacted areas were prioritized for review.

Three of the projects were funded under the special circumstances provision of the rural dividend, specifically designed to assist communities undergoing economic hardship.

The Rural Dividend funded several local and area projects for wildfire-impacted areas in the Cariboo.

• The Cariboo Regional District is being awarded $335,000 under the rural dividend’s special circumstances provision for the North Cariboo Trail Development Project – completing two trail networks over a two-year period, with two more to follow, and partnering with the College of New Caledonia to develop training programs for trail design, planning, building and marketing.

• Cariboo Ski Touring Club is being awarded $10,000 to buy and install portable snow-making equipment at its main Hallis Lake venue near Quesnel.

• The City of Quesnel is being awarded $100,000 for a waterfront development plan at the confluence of the Fraser River, Quesnel River and Baker Creek that is based on stakeholder engagement and considers planning, economic development, archeological and engineering issues.

• The City of Quesnel is being awarded $250,000 under the Rural Dividend’s special circumstances provision to market the city as a four-season destination for visitors and residents, and to target investors to diversify the economy.

• The Quesnel Downtown Association is being awarded $68,000 to create a marketing plan to inform the public about the Reid Street revitalization project in the downtown core, and ensure customers continue to access businesses during the construction.

• The Quesnel Shelter and Support Society is being awarded $99,458 to create and sustain Rebuild Junction, a second-hand building supply and junk-removal business that offers skills development and opportunities for individuals who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or experiencing other significant barriers to employment.

• The Barkerville Heritage Trust is being awarded $100,000 to work with the Lhtako Dené Nation, and other Indigenous partners in the region, to design and implement Indigenous tourism with interpretive and cultural activities and programming.

• The District of Wells is being awarded $85,000 to determine the feasibility of extending municipal boundaries, including public and First Nations consultation, infrastructure and environmental reviews, and mapping.

• The District of Wells is being awarded $299,450, under the Rural Dividend’s special circumstances provision, to hire community members to complete corridor wildfire mitigation and community/corridor beautification – a project that is linked to the community’s recovery plan.

• The Wells and Area Trail Society is being awarded $10,000 to implement the second phase of the Cornish Mountain ski trail development, including a link to a five-kilometre loop trail being built by the Wells-Barkerville Community Forest and West Fraser Mills.