DIDSBURY - A new community grant policy was approved by town councillors at a recent regularly scheduled council meeting. It increases potential support to eligible applicants to a maximum of $2,000.
At the direction of council, Policy CS 003-21 was developed to oversee the granting of modest levels of support to local community organizations, groups and clubs and for local festivals and events.
Discounts for use of Town of Didsbury facilities and donations of Town of Didsbury promotional materials are also covered by the new policy.
The policies and governance committee worked with administration to develop the new policy.
Highlights of the new program under the policy include an updated, comprehensive application form for funding decisions, a reduction of red tape by administering the program through the community services department, the elimination of the need for committee and/or council decision, and allowing for a more streamlined and efficient process, council heard.
Groups applying for only facility discounts under the program will be eligible for a 100 per cent waiver of fees, rather than the 50 per cent waiver previously offered the promotion request policy.
Groups applying for funding and facility discounts will be eligible for a 50 per cent waiver of fees for rentals.
There are four categories under the new program: community-based organizations, groups and clubs; community festivals and events; facility rental discounts; and Town of Didsbury prize/promotional item donations.
Funding for groups and organizations under this program is contingent on the approval of funds available through the previous years’ operating budget surplus. The total funding allocated from the budget surplus will be a maximum of $30,000, or 10 per cent of the total surplus, whichever is less.
Alternatively the total funding available could be allocated through the annual budgeting process. The community grant funds budget may vary from year-to-year, based on council’s budget and level of service priorities.
Under the program there will be one intake of grant applications per year, with a deadline of May 1. Applications will be accepted after the intake deadline, however funding will be contingent on community grant funds being available.
This year, the deadline will be July 15, with the town moving to the May 1 deadline starting in 2022.
Organizations, groups and clubs, and community festivals and event organizations may apply for a maximum of $2,000 in community grant funds per year. However, full funding requests cannot be guaranteed, with funding being distributed based on eligibility, the number of applicants received, and the annual budget set by council.
The new policy replaces and consolidates two existing policies, Policy CS-001 and Policy CS-211, which were rescinded by motions.