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Funds not allocated in community grants may go to municipal reserve fund

If approved by council later this month, funds not allocated in this round of Community Grants funding will be set aside for a rainy day in another municipal account.

Councillor Janice Maynard set the idea in motion after hearing a balance of $65,745 remained in the Grants Over $5,000 program.

“I would like to see the unspent funds be directed to the tax rate stabilization reserve… There’s always going to be some sort of emergency, or something will come up, like drought; we always have something come up during the year and I think that is a good place to put the money.”

Council was reviewing a report on grants over and under $5,000 listing applicants and their requests, as put together by The Community Foundation, appointed last year by the municipality to administer the program.

The report notes requests for funding were lower than last year, stating it may be due in part to other funding sources publicly available around the same time. In-kind allocations were also down from last year, partially due, the report said, to the recent council decision to make Community Centre kitchen space available for groups fighting food insecurity, which resulted in approximately $7,300 of requested in-kind support not needing to be funded.

In total, $166,200 is being recommended in cash grants, and $5,200 for in-kind grants. This year saw nine cash requests and two in-kind requests for use of municipal facilities.

There is also $20,000 remaining in the newly-approved funds for food insecurity programs. Councillor Kate McNaughton was unsuccessful in her bid to move another $10,000 from the un-allocated funds into the food insecurity grants coffers.

Council had approved a budget for 2019 grants over $5,000 of $237,145, plus the funds earmarked for food insecurity programs. The amount recommended for funding in 2019 is $171,400.

For municipal grants under $5,000, a total of $9,291 was approved in cash allocations along with $33,341 for in-kind grants. This year saw five cash requests, and 13 in-kind requests for facilities, or waiving of municipal fees.

Council had approved a budget for the 2019 Community Grants Under $5,000 of $13,086 for cash awards and $29,570 for in-kind for a total of $42,656. Total amount awarded was $42,742.

Should council approve the transfer of $65,745 in funds not allocated, at the March 26 meeting,  there will not be a second open call for applicants as planned for next month.

Filed Under: Local News

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