Harrison Mayor Leo Facio cut a ribbon to officially mark the completion of upgrades to block one of Esplanade Avenue in June

Harrison gets funding boost

Latest installment in RMI funding totals more than $280,000 for Village of Harrison Hot Springs

Harrison received $283,359 for projects that work to support tourism infrastructure and amenities, Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness announced last week.

“Local residents have seen the improvements that have taken place under this funding arrangement and I am pleased to support the extension of this program,” Throness said in a press release. “Harrison Hot Springs is a prime destination for tourism in B.C. and we need to keep it beautiful.”

Harrison Hot Springs was one of 14 communities that received an expected share of the provincial Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) fund. The nearly $300,000 will go to improvements in block two of Esplanade Ave., according to Mayor Leo Facio.

The money is the latest installment in the Province’s commitment to support Harrison and other tourism-based communities such as Whistler, Sun Peaks and Fernie through the RMI program.

Facio says the question now is if they can convince the provincial government to keep the RMI funding going past 2017. It was originally supposed to end sooner but the province extended it a year. The mayors and CAOs from the resort municipalities will be getting together with provincial representatives at the upcoming UBCM (Union of British Columbia Municipalities) meeting on Monday, Sept. 21 to discuss the possibility of continuing the program.

It’s no surprise Facio and the other 13 mayors would like to see the program continue. Harrison alone has received a total of $2,831,105 since 2007 through the RMI fund. The money has gone to projects including the streetscape revitalization project on Esplanade Avenue and the new village gateway. In total, more than $98.1 million in RMI funding has been invested since 2006 to support tourism infrastructure and programs.

“The Resort Municipality Initiative is an important program for the Village of Harrison Hot Springs,” Facio stated in a press release. “I am pleased to learn that the Province has extended the program until 2017, allowing us to invest further in our tourism infrastructure.”