By Kenyon Stronski
Coming back after being deferred last council meeting, the ‘2 Billion Trees Grant’ looks to encourage capacity building in a municipality, encourage involvement in planning and, simply plant trees. The Town of Taber’s commitment to the grant would be to plant 400 trees as well as participate in these capacity-building exercises to the tune of $545,700 with $300,000 coming from the Capacity Building Grant. Chris Eagan, director of Planning and Community Services presented this project to council at their Nov. 28 regular meeting.
“This RFD (Request for Decision) concerns a grant opportunity that the town has responded to presented by the Department of Natural Resources Canada. We’ve offered the Trout Pond as a site to meet two basic criteria — capacity building and some tree planting. In September of this year, council approved four projects related to the Trout Pond which would consume the $562,737 of remaining funding for that facility. This RFD asks council to do two things, to remove or defund the expansion of the campground in order to make way for $126,500 of the West Trail Expansion funds to be redirected to serve the town’s commitment to the two billion tree program grant. The total grant budget will be $545,700 of which $300,000 is a grant from the government and then we make up the dollar contribution and some in-kind contribution so no direct costs, we’ll just utilize our own staff in the operating budget. The work will be led by the recreation department and will be completed next December.”
Asking the big question, Coun. Garth Bekkering inquired into the dollar amount, and if the $545,700 was just for trees; which would total an amount of around $1,200 per tree. Eagan noted the capacity building that would be involved in the program like tree planting and tree training.
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