Funding requests rejected

Two new grant in aid requests, worth $25,000, have been denied while a decision on a third request, worth $5,000 will be considered later.

Two new grant in aid requests, worth $25,000, have been denied while a decision on a third request, worth $5,000 will be considered later.

The requests were presented at the municipal council meeting on Monday evening.

Council denied a $20,000 request from the Summerland Recreational Society, Lakeshore Racquets Club to cover the repair costs and upgrades to the parking lot.

A request from the Museum and Heritage Society for $5,000 to move items to the RCMP station for storage was also denied.

Council members said Lakeshore Racquets Club is on one of Summerland’s most valuable and most highly taxed properties. In addition, the racquets club has not increased its rates for several years.

“I don’t see why staff should have to work with this organization to get its house in order,” said Coun. Lloyd Christopherson.

Mayor Janice Perrino said the municipality had earlier turned down funding requests for the Summerland Badminton Club and therefore must reject the request for Lakeshore Racquets Club.

“It’s not fair to give to one and say no to another,” she said. “What we did for the badminton club we do for the racquets club. We treat our groups the same.”

The motion to deny this funding request was passed unanimously.

The request for the Museum and Heritage Society was also questioned by council.

Coun. Martin Van Alphen said the municipality had already approved $35,00 for the Museum and Heritage Society and $1,000 for the Heritage Commission in other funding requests.

Coun. Peter Waterman said the additional $5,000 was for a one-time request.

“They simply do not have the money to do this,” he said.

Perrino said the municipality has already been generous to the museum, providing space in the basement of the RCMP building and providing shelving for artefacts.

“At some point, the museum needs to step up to the plate,” she said.

The motion to deny this funding request was carried with Waterman opposed.

The third request, for $5,000 for overhead costs for the Summerland Asset Development Initiative, was put on hold.

Speaking in favour of the request, Waterman said the youth organization plays an important role in Summerland.

“This is to give our youth a place to go,” he said. “It’s a health aspect for our community and our community’s youth. We should be able to invest in our youth.”

Perrino said the municipality should treat requests from Summerland Asset Development Initiative in the same way as requests from the Harold Simpson Memorial Youth Centre are handled.

“This is about fairness,” she said.

Hallquist said the two organizations are not the same. The Summerland Asset Development Initiative’s building is maintained by the municipality while the Harold Simpson Memorial Youth Centre owns its building and pays its own maintenance costs.

The funding request will be considered later, after municipal staff members prepare further information.

A fourth request, to help cover the costs of the Sister City trip to Toyokoro, Japan, received support.

Summerland’s Blossom Queen, two princesses, Miss Congeniality and two chaperones will be part of the delegation in September.

As has been done with other requests for youth initiatives, the municipality will provide $500 for each of the youth participating, but will not provide funding to pay for the chaperones.

Summerland’s entire grant in aid budget this year came to $291,600.

Money approved in the budget came to $268,100. An addition $20,500 had been previously approved by council.

The largest of the grants was $200,000 to the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.

In 2012, the municipality received $156,000 from business license revenue, which was then turned over to the chamber.

Coun. Bruce Hallquist said the additional $44,000 for the chamber is less than the municipality has paid in the past.

For years, the chamber has received $200,000 annually from the municipality, but the amount collected from business licenses was lower in the past.

Grants in aid are considered each year at the council table.

A policy is in place for the dispersal of these grants.

The policy was adopted in February, 1992.