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TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. — When regional district residents head to the polls this Saturday, they will have a chance to vote on regional connectivity and multiple grant-in-aid programs.

Residents that reside in the Peace River Regional District (PRRD) can vote on the Dinosaur Museum Grant in Aid, the Global Geopark Grant in Aid, the Sports and Cultural Events Grant in Aid, and regional connectivity.

Residents in Area B can also vote on the Fort St. John library financial contribution.

The regional connectivity vote would establish a service function for the PRRD board to receive grants and requisition funds for internet service providers to install and operate broadband infrastructure in under and unserved areas of the district.

The sport and cultural events grant in aid vote would give authority for the provision of grants to support holding national and international level sporting and cultural events in the region, according to the PRRD.

The Fort St. John Library financial contribution would give authority to provide financial contributions to the not-for-profit organizations and local governments that are involved with the Fort St. John Public Library.

The new service function funding proposed for the Dinosaur Museum and the Global Geopark would reportedly ensure that their activities continue in the Peace region with greater stability with direct support from the region’s residents.

According to a joint release from the Dinosaur Museum and the Global Geopark, residents have been funding them through the Peace River Regional District’s (PRRD) Grant-in-Aid program for many years.

This amounts to an average of about $1.50 per household annually for regional taxpayers.

The Grant-in-Aid program allowed both the Dinosaur Museum and the Global Geopark to receive annual operational support from the PRRD council to carry out activities in the region.

These activities include scientific excursions, printing and distributing trail brochures, backcountry and wilderness safety programs, creating exhibits and displays, and preserving B.C.’s largest fossil collection, according to the museum and the Global Geopark.

“Support from the residents of the Peace region will allow the Dinosaur Museum to continue offering educational activities such as dinosaur day camps, school programs and trackway tours,” said Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation vice president Birgit Sharman.

“It will also allow for the continuation of research, education and display of the many exciting discoveries that are made each year in the region.”

The museum and the geopark would like to remind taxpayers that this switch will not increase the annual contribution amount per household.

Instead, it changes the process by which the funds are accessed.

“Both the Dinosaur Museum and the Global Geopark are places that have been visited by tourists and families across the peace region for years,” said Al Kangas, president of the Global Geopark Society.

“We have heard repeatedly from officials all over the region that having these two remarkable places within easy reach helps to attract and retain workers and professionals, even doctors and nurses. The benefit to the people across the Peace greatly outweighs the minimal cost.”

More information can be found on the PRRD’s Assent Votes page.

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca. Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.