By Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A major part of Pincher Creek’s economic plan aims to revitalize the downtown core, and a recently announced federal grant might help with the finances needed to attract more businesses and consumers downtown.

Announced in early July, the Canada Community Revitalization Fund is available to municipal governments, non-profit groups and Indigenous organizations to help improve community infrastructure. Specifically, the eligible projects must aim to revitalize downtown cores and main streets, improve outdoor spaces, create green infrastructure and increase the accessibility of community spaces.

Successful applicants can receive up to $750,000, though projects totalling $500,000 and under will be most competitive. Additionally, priority will be given to applications that involve a 50 per cent cost share.

Economic development officer Marie Everts and economic consultant Natalie Gibson presented during the July 7 committee of the whole meeting to request council’s support for the grant application, which is due July 23.

Although council is limited in the amount of money it can approve during committee of the whole meetings, the application requires only a willingness to match federal grant funds. If the application is successful, council will still have the option of backing out if needed.

Given the recent completion of the recreation master plan, a health and social needs assessment, and the acquisition of an energy manager, Pincher Creek was uniquely placed to apply for the CCRF, said Ms. Everts.

“These factors create a unique opportunity for us, and we can use all those pieces to create a really strong application,” she said.

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