SUNDRE — Almost $8,000 was disbursed among several community groups following the municipality’s second round of intakes for grant applications.
A policy developed specifically to strike a committee that considers the applications for funding for non-profit organizations and charities based on predetermined criteria, allows for two rounds of intakes, said Linda Nelson, chief administrative officer.
Council had previously approved a little more than $19,600 following the first intake at the end of January, leaving an available balance of almost $30,360 from the budgeted amount for the second round, Nelson said during the regularly scheduled June 14 council meeting conducted by teleconference.
“We received five applications for the second intake,” she said, adding the total amount requested added up to about $10,160.
Upon considering the applications, the grant review committee recommended approving four of the applicants in the amount of $7,956, with a decision on whether to approve the fifth application submitted by the Hope 4 MVC Kids Society left up to council’s discretion, she said.
Speaking on behalf of the review committee, Coun. Richard Warnock said the grant program’s policy does not include criteria to cover staff or volunteer costs.
When the committee considered the application, Warnock said he recommended providing $1,200 for a laptop and software, but not to include $1,000 for volunteers.
“It was decided that possibly this should be a council decision as to whether we pay for the hardware, or whether we pay for the whole ask through the grant,” he said, encouraging a council discussion.
Mayor Terry Leslie asked if Warnock would be willing to start that conversation by proposing a motion with a suggested amount for Hope 4 MVC Kids Society.
Warnock moved the recommended motion to approve the other four grants, and suggested setting at $1,200 the contribution for the society.
Speaking against the motion, Coun. Cheri Funke said she fully supported approving the four other applications, but was not in favour of providing the society with any funding for a laptop.
“Because when they gave a presentation to council, they outlined the fact that there is very little contribution they’ve made to our community,” said Funke.
“When you take a look at our community, and what individuals have gone through in our community, we tend to take care of our own when there’s issues within the community. So, I don’t support giving a computer to a group that doesn’t necessarily focus on the people of Sundre — I’d rather see it go to groups within our community.”
Funke’s council colleagues Rob Wolfe, Charlene Preston and Todd Dalke agreed, expressing similar sentiments.
“I realize that we’re talking about helping our own community,” said Warnock. “But this organization works within the county of Mountain View, which includes the Town of Sundre.
“So, that was the main reason why I felt we should give them some token of appreciation for working with the kids in the county.”
Seeking clarification, the mayor asked Nelson how much funding would remain available in the grants to organizations budget line item should council approve Warnock’s suggested $1,200.
“There would be $20,201.71 left,” Nelson said, adding some groups questioned if there might be a third intake.
There had been a significant number of applications received during the first intake, but not so many for the second.
“Last year, we did have a third intake, and I’m sure the committee has talked about that,” she said.
Turning back to the matter at hand, the mayor called a vote on Warnock’s motion, which was defeated with opposition from Funke, Wolfe, Preston and Dalke.
Council proceeded to unanimously carry a motion approving the four applications as recommended by the review committee.
The recipients were:
• Sundre Municipal Library, $956.29 for community based recreation programming;
• Play 4 Sundre Kids, $500 for community based recreation programming;
• Brenda Ware Memorial Bench, $1,500 for community based arts; and
• Greenwood Neighbourhood Place Society; $5,000 community-based support for the youth centre.
As a further point of clarification, the mayor reminded council that about $20,000 remained available from the original pool of funds budgeted specifically to support community groups, and asked if anyone so desired to schedule a third intake to potentially distribute the remaining money.
Funke so moved, setting an application deadline of Aug. 31, which was carried unanimously.