SUNDRE — Council recently unanimously approved funding to community organizations following the third and final intake of applications for the year.
Following the second round of intakes for community groups and organizations to apply for grant funding from the municipality that had wrapped up last spring, council had directed administration during the Sept. 7 meeting to proceed with a third round that ended Aug. 31.
Moving forward with the previously unscheduled third round of intake for applications, there remained an available pool of budgeted funds amounting to a little more than $23,600. Eight applications were received by the end of August deadline for a total of $31,411 requested.
Linda Nelson, the town's chief administrative officer, said two motions were following discussion on how to allocate the funds defeated before council went on to carry the motion recommended by the grant review committee to approve $16,634, with the balance of nearly $7,000 to be forwarded to restricted surplus.
According to the intent behind the town’s grants to organizations policy, the municipality “allows for two intakes of applications for funding for non-profit organizations and charities that meet the criteria.”
The eight applications approved by council as per the grant review committee’s recommendation also included a couple of local businesses.
Burger Baron received the full amount requested of $1,384 and Original T’s Family Restaurant received $3,000 from a request for $4,777. Both expenses were earmarked to offset the cost of landscaping improvements.
Also approved were applications by:
• Hope 4 MVC Kids Society, which received the full $1,000 requested to cover the cost of tickets for speakers and volunteers to attend the hospital futures gala in November;
• Sundre Seniors Protected and Respected Under Community Engagement (S.P.R.U.C.E.), which received the full $350 requested for a facility rental to present programs to the community;
• Sundre Palliative Care, which was approved to receive the in-kind support it sought to have the Knott’s Glen Memorial Park trees watered by the town crew;
• B.S. Productions was awarded its full amount of $900 to help put on a music theatre production;
• The Sundre & District Curling Club was granted $9,500 out of $20,000 it had asked for a fire alarm system and kitchen appliances replacements, and;
• Burden Bearers Counselling received $500 of the $3,000 it had requested.
In response to correspondence received from the Town of Claresholm, council also proceeded to carry two additional motions that were not initially included on the meeting’s agenda.
One was to move in favour of maintaining the council code of conduct as mandatory.
“It has been brought to our attention by the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) that the current Alberta government has plans in the works to remove the requirement for municipalities to have a code of conduct in place to govern all councillors equally by way of bylaw,” reads a portion of the letter addressed to Ric McIver, minister of municipal affairs, and signed by Doug MacPherson, mayor of Claresholm.
MacPherson’s letter made unequivocally clear that Claresholm considers the code of conduct to be of crucial importance, and implored McIver’s ministry to “tread this path lightly and make sure that consultation with municipalities in Alberta is completed prior to any major changes being made.”
Sundre’s council carried a motion directing administration to draft a letter in support of Claresholm’s position.
“This council believes that (the code of conduct) needs to remain mandatory, not optional,” said Nelson.
The other motion was also to stand in solidarity with their council counterparts in Claresholm, who in a letter addressed to Premier Jason Kenney stated that the cost of RCMP retroactive pay not be downloaded onto the shoulders of municipalities.
“Municipalities in Alberta such as ours under total population of 5,000 have recently been subjected to increasing our property tax rates on citizens and businesses in order to cover the cost of policing in our province,” reads a portion of the letter signed by MacPherson and carbon copied to AUMA members.
Adding they are in no position to absorb additional downloaded costs without further increasing the burden on local taxpayers, MacPherson wrote, “Claresholm Town Council respectfully requests that the Alberta Government ensures that Alberta municipalities are not charged with assisting in funding the RCMP’s retroactive pay when the agreement is complete. It should be up to the provincial and federal governments to deal with any shortfalls, and not to overload municipalities with further monetary strain.”
Sundre council agreed, directing administration to draft a letter in support of Claresholm’s position.