South Dundas budget deliberations for 2012 are complete and grant allocations have been decided.
At the first meeting, March 5th, Treasurer Shannon Geraghty told South Dundas council that grant requests were “a little over $40,000” while only $20,000 had been allotted for that purpose.
Rather than alter the allotment, council decided to go through the requests first.
While almost all groups requesting grants received money, most didn’t receive their requested sum. In fact, two groups didn’t receive at all.
Allocated grants are as follows:
• Canada Day Committee, Morrisburg – $2,000
• Santa Claus Parade – $300
• Williamsburg Community Association – $300
• Canada Day, Iroquois – $2,000
• Dundas County Hospice – $500
• Bluegrass Festival – $3,000
• Iroquois Lawn Bowling – $2,000
• St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage – $1,000
• Upper Canada Playhouse – $1,500
• Iroquois Festival Committee – $1,000
• Seaway District High School Graduation – $750
• Cruickshank Amphitheatre – $3,000
In total, council approved $17,350 in grants, leaving $2,650 in the original grant budget.
“Last year it was decided that was a one time thing,” said Councillor Jim Graham in reference to the Iroquois Festival Committee.
The debate centered around whether this was actually a ‘community’ festival benefitting the community or a ‘plaza’ festival benefitting the businesses.
Councillor Evonne Delegarde pointed out that this year the focus will be on the War of 1812.
Mayor Steven Byvelds said, “I do agree this is a fine line.”
This will be the last year for this particular grant.
Another huge discussion was had over the Iroquois Lawn Bowling request. As Byvelds pointed out, “I see an issue of fairness. Compare it to the Morrisburg Curling Club.”
It was suggested that this would be the last year the Iroquois Lawn Bowling would receive grant money.
As for the matter of how much to give to whom, this came down to an attempt at fairness. Both Morrisburg and Iroquois Canada Day celebrations received the same amount, to be fair. This raised an issue with the Bluegrass Festival receiving more than Canada Day festivities. In the end, it was decided that Bluegrass needed some help getting started.
Following grant deliberations, council discussed the new application format put into effect last fall, requiring groups to fill out forms and meet qualifications. The point of the new process is accountability. Byvelds suggested adding a component to the forms: “For next year, tell us exactly what they did with our money.”
As for the new application’s November deadline, Graham added, “it makes people plan ahead instead of doing things at the last minute.”