KELOWNA – The Central Okanagan Regional District and its four municipalities have received more than $2 million in combined funding from the provincial government to help them invest in local priorities including community safety initiatives such as policing, service delivery and infrastructure.

“There is only one taxpayer – and these grants mean projects will go ahead without reaching further into their pocket,” said Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna. “Community safety and policing programs don’t always attract a lot of attention, but they make a real difference.”

Lake Country has received a Small Community Grant worth $22,372 and $59,950 in Traffic Fine Revenue for a total of $282,322.

Peachland has received a total of $361,659 from a Small Community Grant of $343,719 and $17,940 in Traffic Fine Revenue.

Both Kelowna and West Kelowna have received Traffic Fine Revenue worth $1,121,017 and $152,647 respectively while the Central Okanagan Regional District has received a Regional District Grant worth $88,871.

“Local governments know which public safety projects are most important to them,” Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson said. “These grants give municipalities the freedom to tackle their priorities without burdening local taxpayers.”

This is the second of two annual payments to the five local governments. A payment worth nearly $930,000 in combined funding was made in March.

“Improving safety and the overall quality of life is one of our government’s priorities and these grants do that,” Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick said. “With more than $82,000 going to Lake Country alone, I am delighted that some very important safety needs will be addressed.”

More than $75 million has been provided to B.C. municipalities in this round of funding, building on the $40 million payments made in March.

Small Community Grants generally apply to municipalities with populations under 20,000 and are unconditional, along with Regional District Grants, meaning that the local governments can spend the funding according to their needs and priorities.

Traffic fine revenue comes from ticket fines and court-imposed fines on violation tickets. The program returns 100 per cent of net revenues from these fines tickets to communities with the funds to be spent on community safety and policing.

Since 2009, the Small Community, Regional District and Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing Grants have provided more than $792 million in funding to support B.C. communities enabling them to invest money in projects that are identified as priorities at the local level.