City grants scrutinized

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
October 22nd, 2009

Castlegar city council, at its regular meeting Monday, appeared to evidence a greater emphasis on decision-making regarding grant money, overturning two finance committee recommendations in response to community requests.

The first committee recommendation was that council deny the United Way’s request for $1,000 to help support their annual Hallowe’en for Kids event, but council offered a $500 grant instead.

“We feel that this would end up being another event we’d be paying for, when we already host many of these events, like Sunfest, Winterfest, the toboggan party (etcetera),” said councillor Gord Turner, chair of the finance committee, when explaining the recommendation that the $1,000 grant request be refused.

Councillor Deb McIntosh disagreed with that logic.

“I think this is a great event and worth at least $500,” she said. “Events like these build healthy, strong communities.”

Councillor Russ Hearne asked if Hallowe’en for Kids is a fund-raiser for the United Way, explaining he’d be happy to support an event for the community, but didn’t want to see grants become just a convoluted method of providing donations to local non-profit organizations.

McIntosh put forward a motion that the United Way be given $500, which was unanimously approved.

Next came a grant request for $2,000 for the 2010 B.C. Golf Association’s Men’s Amateur Tournament, which Turner and the committee supported on the grounds that it brings many visitors to the community and enhances the city’s profile.

Again, McIntosh demurred, saying, “$2,000 seems like too much,” and moving a $1,000 contribution instead. The new motion was passed unanimously.

McIntosh said she’s looking more closely at how much each grant should be.

“I’m looking at bang for the buck, and focussed on who benefits from any funding we offer,” she said.

Categories: General


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