This past week, through the provincial Building Sustainable Communities (BSC) fund, several community projects received financial support that will benefit residents in several ways.
Funding was provided to a number or projects that are intended to improve the recreational opportunities within communities. In Steinbach, I was joined by Mayor Earl Funk to announce a grant of $75,000 for a new outdoor rink as part of the overall development of the Steinbach events centre which is expected to begin construction later this year. The events centre itself will be the focal point of activity and meeting spaces, but it forms part of the larger entertainment area that already houses the movie theatre and curling rink. The new outdoor rink will be larger and better equipped than the current one.
Other recreation projects received support including $159,450 for the Mitchell Skate Park which is currently under construction. The Mitchel Skate Park will add a new outdoor recreation activity option for local young people alongside the other outdoor recreation activities in the growing community. Reeve Stan Toews, Councillor Brian Esau and Mitchell LUD members Brad Kehler and Cliff Froese were on hand and it is their leadership that is making this project a reality.
In Blumenort, $75,000 has been granted for improved washroom and canteen facilities. Over the past two years, the fairs and festivals that Manitobans love so much have often been interrupted. As we all look forward to their return, improved facilities are a welcomed addition to these annual events.
In addition to recreation facilities, there was funding to help communities plan for growth and development. The Steinbach Chamber of Commerce was granted $75,000 as part of their larger investment attraction strategy. Steinbach has benefited from significant growth over the past number of years, however it is beneficial to be able to target specific investment opportunities to ensure that a strong mix of investments and jobs are coming to the City and funding for these plans is important. There was also funding announced for the City of Steinbach to update zoning bylaws and its highway access management plan. In addition, Eastman Crisis Centre received a grant for strategic planning purposes.
The funding for these and other local projects is part of helping make communities strong and connected. They will provide long term benefit to current and future residents and help make communities even more welcoming than they already are. As we move into summer, there is a great deal to be optimistic about as communities continue to grow and new projects begin or near completion. I look forward to sharing with you more information in the weeks ahead about these and other important community initiatives.