A construction deadline extension means the city can free up some funds for more projects.
Last month, the federal government agreed to a three-year extension of the current spending deadline for projects funded under the Gas Tax Agreement.
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Denis Lebel signed the amendment to change the deadline from March 31, 2015 to March 31, 2018.
The amendment agreement will take effect pending the approval and signatures of Union of BC Municipalities present Mary Sjostrom and provincial Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Bill Bennett.
UBCM raised the need for the extension to ensure local governments would enough time to complete larger-scale projects slated to begin during the 2013 construction season.
In Prince George, three sets of projects that the city's financial division has already planned to fund through other means in 2015 could be paid for with the share of the federal gas tax funds, said city financial planning manager Kris Dalio.
"Most of them are annual, recurring capital projects that we do," he said. On the 2015 capital plan these include $45,000 worth of new commercial and residential water meters, $194,000 in annual civic facility energy improvements; and $97,000 in annual civic facility heat system upgrades.
"Right now the most recent capital plan [council] approved does not include gas tax spending from 2015 onwards," said Dalio, "but the next year's go around we would put this on the capital plan and if they're okay with it, they would approve it."
Currently, these projects are shown as being funded by the water capital reserve and general infrastructure reinvestment funds, but the city likes to use the federal allotment whenever they can. According to Dalio, the city gets approximately $2.9 million per year in gas tax money.
There are strict regulations on the use of federal gas tax money in B.C. It typically has to be used for the capital costs of sustainable infrastructure and to promote the use of public transit, cycling and foot traffic.
Last year, Coun. Dave Wilbur and the rest of council unsuccessfully petitioned UBCM for their support in having more flexibility in the use of the money for road repairs.