By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Three local initiatives will receive $6,170 in Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Grant funding after Morinville Town Council approved recommendations from the FCSS Advisory Board during Council’s Jan. 10 meeting.
Although FCSS Grant applications are reviewed by council twice each year, this was the first intake where applications were screened by the Advisory Board with recommendations passing on to council.
Interim Chief Administrative Officer Debbie Oyarzun told Council five applications were received and considered by the Advisory Board and that three of those requests were passed on to councillors for further consideration. The other three were rejected by the Advisory Board.
The three applications included a request for $1,400 from MCHS to bring in two parenting courses: single parenting and blended parenting. Georges H. Primeau School requested $1,000 to help cover the costs of the school’s Heroes Program, an initiative presented to Grade 7 students to teach them to appreciate their self-worth and to help them select supportive friends. A third application recommended by the FCSS Advisory Board sought $3,770 for Sturgeon Victim Services to assist in developing an advertising campaign to prevent cyber-bullying through social media.
Mayor Lloyd Bertschi said he wished Sturgeon Victim Services had been present as he was not sure if their request was Morinville specific or if it applied to the entire region they cover. “If they are going to be running these programs in other area we should be funding a portion,” Bertschi said. Administration confirmed the program targeted Morinville but that the program would be available to youth outside the community as well.
Council unanimously approved the three recommendations as a group and authorized the $6,170 in FCSS expenditures.
A request to fund a mission trip by the high school was not advanced by the Advisory Board on the grounds the volunteer work was not being done within the community, one of the criteria for the FCSS Grant. Councillor Lisa Holmes expressed her hope the school would be advised on which program to apply to for grant funding.
Morinville’s FCSS program is funded by an 80/20 split between the province and the municipality. The FCSS department is responsible for designing and implementing programs for residents that are preventative in nature and promotes well-being in and among residents.