The City of Rossland awarded what remained of its annual cycle of community grants at its Dec. 12 council meeting.
The city contributes 5 per cent of its annual tax revenue towards Community Grant Funding to support local non-profit groups and organizations.
According to staff, $313,518 in total funding was available for 2023, and $294,054 of that total has already been allocated to a variety of projects and groups.
As a result, city staff requested further direction from council on how to allocate the remaining $19,464 available for Community Grant Funding, when there was $112,189 in requests from a dozen different groups.
Before council tackled that issue, up for question was whether council wished to continue using 5 per cent of its tax revenue for this particular funding stream.
CAO Bryan Teasdale explained that the 5 per cent figure is included and budgeted for in the city’s Official Financial Plan.
Coun. Stewart Spooner supported continuing with the 5 per cent allocation, saying “It’s one funding stream, but it’s used for a lot of different things.”
Coun. Jeff Weaver concurred and a motion to maintain the 5 per cent funding level carried unanimously.
Of the 12 different groups that applied for funding, council pared that number down to seven after considering and voting on each request.
The method was a bit perplexing for some new council members.
“I was going to reserve comment for the end, but I despise this process,” said Coun. Lisa Kwiatkowski.”I know that doesn’t sound very helpful, but I find this incredibly arbitrary.”
Kwiatkowski suggested taking an equivalent percentage of each applicant’s ask and apply it to the $20,000, then distribute the funds accordingly.
Staff informed the councillor that the process was used in the past, but organizations would inflate their requests so they would get closer to the amount they wanted when that formula was applied.
Each council member awarded an amount to each of the respective non-profit groups, which added up to roughly $20,000. Chief Financial Officer Mike Kennedy did the math and awarded the average amount allotted to each applicant.
A motion to grant funding allocations carried unanimously with one time payments going to Black Jack Ski Club in the amount of $6,794; the Family Action Network, $420; Kootenay Festival of the Arts, $657; Rossland Arts Centre Society, $6,610; and Rossland Scouts $2,211.
A motion to continue funding some organizations for multi-year grants at the level funded, had also carried unanimously.
Community groups that will receive funding for the next four years are the Greater Trail Hospice Society, $2,500 per year, and Rossland Society for Environmental Action, $857.