Elk Valley communities receive $1.1 million in grants from province

The grants are unconditional, but the province would like to see the money used to hire more police officers.

Elk Valley communities have been awarded $1.1 million in grants from the provincial government.

The Small Community and Regional District Grants are unconditional grants that the province gives to smaller community.

Fernie received $393,953, Elkford received $334,643 and Sparwood received $374,079.

However, the three communities were not deemed big enough to receive funding the Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing program.

Although the grants are unconditional, there are areas the province would like local communities to focus on.

“We didn’t tell them how they have to spend it,” said Bill Bennett, MLA for Kootenay East. “We’d like to see a lot of that money spent on community safety. Hiring more police officers, doing whatever the community thinks would have the biggest impact on community safety,” said Bennett.

According to a provincial government press release, the grant allocation is based on population.