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Preservation of an old railway and development of an airport are among the Okanagan projects that will share $20 million in new provincial funding.
The grants, announced Tuesday, are designed to create jobs in largely rural areas as part of the government's COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
"These shovel ready projects will put people living in rural B.C. back to work immediately and support building diversified economies in their communities," Premier John Horgan said in a government release.
Thirty-eight projects provincewide are being funded, including such things as a new cable car crossing of the Fraser River at McBride, new back-country cycling trails at Williams Lake, and expansion of an abattoir on Salt Spring Island.
In the Okanagan, the two most significant projects are $450,000 for infrastructure improvements and development of a master plan for the Kettle Valley Rail Trail.
It's a popular long-distance hiking and cycling corridor that follows the route of the Kettle Valley Railway, which operated between 1916 and 1989 across the B.C. Southern Interior.
Also, there is $524,000 for expansion and improvements at the Osoyoos airport. The airport is located along Highway 33 and is "within walking distance" of downtown Osoyoos, according to the town's website.
The website also acknowledges that, while the airport's 755 metre runway is paved and available for use by private planes, it's a bare-bones operation.
"There are currently no services at the airport, no phone, or washrooms," the website says, adding that taxis will come when called by people arriving in Osoyoos by plane.
The Osoyoos airport is also the home base for a model aircraft club, and the town occasionally grants permission for it to be used as a drag racing strip.
This article first appeared on www.kelownadailycourier.ca
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