Morinville – Four groups came to Council Mar. 27 looking for $15,000 in Community Grant funding, but Council was not prepared to grant all requests lest it deplete a large portion of its annual grant spending.
The 2012 Community Grants program has a budget of $27,500, monies to be distributed over four application intakes to assist local groups with their events and initiatives. Council’s Mar. 27 vote was in response to six grant applications received by the first quarter deadline of Feb. 28. Those requests, if fulfilled, would have drained more than half of the full budget for the year.
First quarter applications included a $7,500 request from the Morinville & District Ag Society looking to fund their annual Easter Egg Hunt, Boo at the Barn, and Tear’n Up the Turf bull riding events in the amount of $2,500 each. The three events take place in April, August and October, respectively.
The Sturgeon Hockey Club sought a $2,500 in kind donation of the arena for their 4 the Love of the Game Novice Tournament which was held Mar. 22-25. The annual memorial tournament is a major event for novice hockey in the area and a fundraiser to help keep the costs of minor hockey down so families can afford to have their children play.
Another $2,500 was sought by the organizers of the Sour Pusses Annual Charity Softball Tournament, a fundraiser for the Stollery Children’s Hospital that organizers believe will bring 500 baseball players to Morinville in June.
Morinville Community High School and Oblate Youth Ministries also requested a $2,500 grant towards the school’s spring break mission trip to New Orleans. The group had been turned down for a different grant last quarter.
After considerable discussion, Council funded the Easter Egg Hunt, hockey tournament and MCHS school trip in the amount of $2,500 each. Requests for the bull riding event and softball tournament were tabled until a future grant application intake. The Ag Society voluntarily withdrew their grant request for their Halloween event until a future intake prior to councillors casting their votes.
During the discussion of this quarter’s grants, Councillor Paul Krauskopf questioned why some of the grants for events happening later this year were presented in the first quarter. “That’s going to make it very difficult to support the whole thing if they’re in there at the same time,” Krauskopf said.
Pattison also had some issues with council spending a large portion of its grant money in the first quarter. “I really think it would be unfair to groups in the fall that are at this time not even contemplating [events],” Pattison said, adding he would like to see the annual amount divided equally over the four quarters to ensure the fund had monies available to groups throughout the year.
Deadline for the second intake of community grants is May. 31.