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Mayor thinks all who apply should get funding

A group of 16 local non-profits will receive community grants this year, while four other community groups applied for funding but were turned down.

The groups applied under the city’s annual grant-in-aid program which aims to help non-profits benefiting the entire community.

Applications are reviewed by the city’s Community Partnership Committee based on city policy and what’s available in the budget.

Barry Watchorn, chair of the committee, said this year’s application process was especially difficult.

“The committee had some serious challenges this year in the fact we had an unprecedented amount of requests for grants-in-aid this year,” Watchorn told council Tuesday night.

“Requests for 2013 totalled $785,700, exceeding the grant-in-aid budget cap by $221,220 (1.7 per cent of the city’s general revenue).

“A lot of due diligence was put in to whittling it down and trying to make everybody happy.”

The groups that received funding are listed below, but four groups – the Campbell River Storm, the city’s Homelessness Coalition, the Salvation Army’s extreme weather shelter and the Downtown BIA, for Christmas lights, – were denied their funding requests.

Groups were turned down if they did not fit the criteria of being a non-profit organization or open to the entire community. Grant requests were also shot down if the applicant already receives funding from another level of government or a government agency.

Mayor Walter Jakeway said he didn’t think any groups should have been turned down, no matter what the reason.

“Some are not getting money and I think they all deserve the money,” he said.

“I’d like to hear if we found money during our budget deliberations (that) we could meet those needs too because obviously there’s a huge need and I know a lot of them are very legitimate organizations looking for funds.”

Watchorn said the committee could re-visit the city mandate that determines whether or not a grant-in-aid request is approved.

“Perhaps the guidelines could be looked at again,” Watchorn said.

Coun. Mary Storry, who sits on the Community Partnership Committee, said the volunteer members spent a lot of time considering each request and it was clear not all of them fit under the city’s grant-in-aid policy.

She said despite the fact some groups were turned down, most groups ended up in better positions than in previous years.

“I know last year the theme was more a little bit of panic because there were some bingo funds that may or may not come to pass,” Storry said.

The following groups received grants for 2013, 2014, and 2015:

Recreation and Culture Facility Rentals ($10,000); Museum at Campbell River ($170,479); Haig-Brown House ($43,200); Tidemark Theatre Society ($160,000); Arts Council ($20,000); Salmon Festival ($20,000); Search and Rescue ($9,500); Writer’s Festival Society ($2,000); Greenways Land Trust ($9,000); Citizens on Patrol ($2,500). The following received grants for 2013 and 2014: Art Gallery ($49,500) and Shoreline Arts Society ($5,000). Grants for 2013 are going to: River City Arts Festival ($1,000); Twinning Society ($2,400); Museum for an exhibit upgrade ($12,500); and Rivercity Players ($10,000) pending it provide the city with a copy of its lease agreement.

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