Community groups receive grants

dunktank1by Tristan Turner
Val Loseth gets dunked at the 2012 Morinville Public Elementary School Carnival, the first of what has become an annual event. – Morinville News File Photo

Morinville – Four grant requests were presented to council at their Mar. 11 regular meeting. Grant requests that were considered were a $1,000 habitat signage request from the Morinville Fish and Game Association, a $2,500 grant request from the Morinville Public Elementary School Parent Fundraising Committee for their annual Community Carnival, a $2,500 grant request from the Morinville Youth Basketball Association to cover upcoming provincials in Edmonton, and a $2,500 request from Black Ice Volleyball Club. At the end of the evening $3,050 in grants were awarded.

First to be considered was the $1,000 grant request from the Fish and Game Association. This money was to be used to put signs with habitat information along the town’s walking trails. Despite a recommendation from Administration that the request be denied, Councillor Stephen Dafoe suggested that council give $750 of their requested $1,000 because of the importance of the pond to Morinville’s trail system.

Administration had recommended to council that this grant request be denied, with CAO Debbie Oyarzun saying that the town is already working with the Fish and Game to construct a new facility to replace their aging clubhouse and that their may be other ways for the group to receive funding. Dafoe argued most of the groups who come for grant funding have other ways of obtaining funding. Oyarzun reminded council the town has already allocated funds to add signage on the trail system, and she believes there is a risk of duplicating efforts.

Dafoe subsequently withdrew his motion on the assurance the Town would do all it can to work with the group on the interpretive signage initiative.

Next to be considered was the Morinville Youth Basketball Association who requested a $2,500 grant. This request was made to help assist the travel and attendance of four teams at provincials in Edmonton. Administration recommended that council fund just over half of the request at $1,300, which was half of the provincial fees. Councilor Boutestein suggested that council fund $1,500, saying that this would cover all expenses she felt were appropriate. Councillor Dafoe challenged this, saying that because provincials were to be held in Edmonton, he found funding over $1,300 to be excessive. Council approved the $1,500 recommended by Boutestein in a 5-1, Councillor Dafoe opposed, Councillor Ladouceur abstaining due to a conflict.

The Morinville Public Elementary School Parent Fundraising Association’s request to receive $2,000 of funding for their annual free Carnival was also considered. Administration recommended council to cover $1,500 of the $2,000, the approximate cost of rentals for the community event. After some clarification the event was not a fundraiser, but a free public event, Council approved the grant at the recommended $1,500 amount.

Last to be reviewed was a $2,500 request from Black Ice Volleyball, a local youth volleyball club. Administration recommended Council deny the request on the basis the organization had become financially viable on its own, and that they would not be requiring any community grants to support their initiatives. Council decided to deny the grant as recommended by administration.

Community groups will have a little less funding this year. Earlier in the evening Council unanimously approved a motion to reduce the annual community grant budget by 9,500 to $20,000. The amount reflects $5,000 per grant intake plus a $5,000 in additional flex grant money.

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