Objective approach may be better for Sicamous’ grant- in-aid process

Sicamous council may be regretting its decision not to partner with the Shuswap Community Foundation.

Sicamous council may be regretting its decision not to partner with the Shuswap Community Foundation.

At its last meeting, the municipality’s mayor and council was once again raked over the coals by a local non-profit organization for decisions related to district grant-in-aid funding. The Eagle Valley Community Support Society has requested $8,000 to help cover the cost of renovations at the Eagle Valley Resource Centre – the community’s hub of invaluable social supports. It appears, however, that the organization will be receiving only $2,000. Prior to this, the Eagle Valley Arts Council questioned why it looked as though their requested grant was being cut from $3,500 to $2,000. Arts council president Carla Krens questioned where the district’s priorities are, spending $50,000 on “Christmas decorations,” while cutting community grant requests by long-standing non-profit organizations.

The support society’s Janet McClean Senft questioned council’s understanding of all that non-profits do for the community.

Council, meanwhile, is expected to be objective, to achieve the greatest good for all the district’s taxpayers. Enter the Shuswap Community Foundation.

Among other things, the foundation handles the grant-in-aid process for the City of Salmon Arm. The down side to this is a five per cent administration fee. On the upside – as the foundation’s Karen Angove recently put it to Sicamous council, “decisions for giving out grants is more arm’s length (from council), its not people having their favourite charities or people bothering you all the time about getting money. So, it removes you from the decision making.”

Council chose not to partner with the foundation, opting to once again deliberate and administer district grant requests in house – a process that has proven problematic for past councils, and will likely continue to be an issue, until a more objective approach is adopted.

 

Eagle Valley News