• Saturday , 28 January 2023

Council to consider a funding cap on civic grant program

Administration at the District of Peachland are suggesting a funding cap on civic grants./File Photo

Joanne Layh

Requests for civic grants are on the increase in Peachland, prompting the town’s administration to suggest it’s time for council to update the approval process and put a funding cap on the program.

As Peachland council continues 2022 budget deliberations, they will be asked to consider 11 civic grant applications totalling $74,150. Just eight years ago the total amount requested was a little over $35,000.

Mayor Cindy Fortin said the number of grants is getting “a little bit out of hand and expensive for the district.”

Peachland’s civic grant program assists citizens in organizing themselves around community issues and projects. The intent of council’s civic grant policy is to support and encourage local non-profit organizations that contribute to the quality of life in Peachland, and which would cease to function without assistance from the district.

Grant applications are capped at $1,000 per organization, although many community groups applying for the grant are exempt from that restriction.

Historically, grant applicants have been invited to a committee of the whole budget meeting to make a presentation and answer any questions regarding their applications.

CAO Joe Creron said it’s difficult to say no because the groups are doing great things for the district, but it’s not necessarily something that’s a core service.

As a result, staff are recommending that the decision for 2022 funding no longer be made in front of community groups, reducing the pressure on council to approve every application received. Staff are expected to come back to council with some suggestions to improve the approval process, including the creation of a sub-committee of council to review the applications and make recommendations to council.

While both Coun. Keith Fielding and Coun. Terry Condon suggested this is creating a solution for a problem they don’t have, council unanimously agreed to direct staff to come back with a report outlining some recommendations.

Regardless of the process they choose, Peachland council will be asked to consider 2022 civic grant applications from the following community groups:

• Peachland Citizens’ Patrol – $2,400;
• Peachland Community Policing Office – $1,750;
• Peachland Historical Society – $16,000;
• Peachland Community Arts Council – $15,000;
• Peachland Wellness Centre – $15,000 plus $4,000 gratis use of facility;
• Okanagan Folk School Society – $1,000;
• Peachland Fall Fair – $3,000 plus gratis use of facility for three-day use of community centre;
• Bat Education Ecological Protection Society (BEEPS) – $1,000 plus gratis use of facility;
• Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance – $1,000 plus gratis facility use on Mar. 22;
• Peachland and District Retirement Society – $10,000 plus gratis use of facility; and
• Peachland Ambassador Society – $8,000.

Organizations can submit an application for a civic grant if they meet the following criteria:
• Has been in operation no less than six months in the District of Peachland;
• Is based in this community;
• Has membership within the District of Peachland or surrounding areas;
• Has the majority of its members as voting members;
• Is in good standing with its licensing authority; and
• Has made, at a minimum, an application to the Central Okanagan Foundation, and has received written response from the COF or any other granting organization.

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One Comment

  1. JEdwards
    December 20, 2021 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Again and again, this mayor/council puts ‘community’ needs last in their budgets. How many years has it been that they cry poor when residents ask for our tax dollars to be used to finish adding sewer hookups to those homes left in the lurch with septic tanks? How many years have we been asking for the sake of people’s safety, add sidewalks to the hillside access routes leading down to the our town, including Princeton, Trepanier, and Ponderosa? Very scary when people with strollers and kiddies are walking on the edge of our busy roads with cars wiping by.
    Then, the current embarrassing issue for mayor/council of not knowing what to do with our (community) support clubs like the Peachland Wellness Centre, Peachland Community Policing, Peachland Food Bank, and Peachland Lions Club, other than charging taxpayers for renovations needed to house these clubs.
    These are “our” social clubs, the residents of Peachland. Council have found millions for tourist benefits, cramming more and more stuff along what was once our beautiful beach front. The more added, the more maintenance costs and no revenue from tourists to pay the taxpayers portion of upkeep.
    Fed up with money spent on tourists and nothing spent on our streets, sidewalks and hillside community curb appeal.

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