MORRISBURG – Next week, South Dundas council will decide how it will disburse the municipal grants and donations fund.
During budget deliberations where council settled on a 5.5 per cent tax rate increase, they made the process of disbursing those funds a little easier for themselves by increasing the allocation to that line of the budget by 50 per cent over last year.
Handing out 50 per cent more money than the $71,500 last year, means that they will be able to fulfill 92 per cent of the donations requested.
Through the 2023 municipal grants and donations application process, $117,300 worth of requests were made by various community groups.
The largest contribution from this fund will be $50,000 to the construction of Dundas Manor, the fourth year of a 10-year council pledge.
Another certain allocation is the funds requested ($21,100) by J.W. MacIntosh Community Support Services to fund a transportation driver for the assistance of seniors and adults living with disabilities.
Beyond those commitments, council has the leeway to decide the level of financial support they wish to allocate to those requesting funds.
One of the largest funding requests came from Beyond 21, a Cornwall-based organization which helps adults with developmental disabilities. Providing programming for 34 adults between the ages of 20-60, in Cornwall and surrounding area, Beyond 21 asked South Dundas for $12,000. Last year, council donated $3,000 to that group.
The next largest request for funds came from the Iroquois-Matilda Lions Club. They asked council for $6,000 for the maintenance of its community gardens located on the grounds of the Riverview Presbyterian Church in Iroquois.
The Mountain Township Agricultural Society asked for a $5,000 for the South Mountain Fair, which takes place in neighbouring North Dundas.
Several financial donations of $3,000 or less were requested for events and charities located within South Dundas including the South Dundas Canada Day Committee, Williamsburg Harvestfest, South Dundas Chamber of Commerce, Iroquois Lawn Bowling, Iroquois Firefighters Association, Iroquois Apple Festival, St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage, Galop Canal Music Society, Matilda Memorial Recreation Committee, Tubie Festival Committee/Morrisburg Junior Lions Hockey Club, Galop Canal Revitalization Project, Dundas Farmers Gala and Dundas County Hospice. The Friends of the Sanctuary also asked for $1,500 for trail sign replacements.
Historically, decisions regarding specific grants and donations take place during budget deliberations, which allowed any potential savings to provide some tax relief.
But, according to South Dundas chief administrative officer Shannon Geraghty, the mayor and council opted instead to proceed in this manner. “Based on the budget deliberations there is a funding amount, but on March 13, 2023, these funds will be disbursed based on the discussion and direction of council,” said Geraghty.
With budget deliberations already complete, any savings found have no effect on the tax rate.