Despite financial constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Langley City is still able to give grants to community groups.
While the pandemic closed the Cascades casino early in 2020, shutting down a substantial source of revenue, there was still about $3 million of casino money available, and there was also a $4.1 million grant from the province to help the municipality support community groups, among other things.
As a result, the City was able to put aside $168,000 for “organizations that contribute to the general interest and advantage of the City.”
And that is why, at the Feb. 22 meeting of council, council was able to approve $114,100 in grants to 32 community groups.
The vote was unanimous.
Councillor Rudy Storteboom was delighted.
“I think it’s great that we can provide community grants, especially during the challenging times that we’re experiencing,” Storteboom enthused.
Mayor Val van de Broek commented that “even without the casino open, we still give grants, thanks to the provincial government
The two largest grants, of $15,000 each, went to the Langley Senior Resources Society and Bard in the Valley.
Other beneficiaries included the Arts Alive Festival ($10,000), Vancouver Youth Arts – formerly KPU International Music Fest ($5,500), Langley Animal Protection Society ($5,000), Langley Lodge ($5,000), Langley Meals on Wheels ($5,000) and the Langley Food Bank ($4,200).
Cascades Casino revenues to the City run at around $6 million a year, funds that have kept taxes 2.5 per cent lower than they would be without the gaming revenue and has funded various civic projects.
The City has scaled back plans to prepare for the pending arrival of SkyTrain, reducing borrowing for the Nexus plan from $50 million to $7.5 million.
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