Summerland’s community groups have once again asked municipal council for some financial help so they can continue their work.
The problem is that the funding requested is greater than the amount of money available in municipal coffers.
The total funding available for grant funding in this year’s budget is $291,600.
The requests exceed this amount by more than $30,000.
To accommodate all the additional funding requests, the municipality would have to raise taxes by an additional 0.5 per cent.
It would be difficult for any council to justify a tax increase to increase grant in aid funding.
However, a move in the opposite direction by reducing or eliminating grant in aid money to provide a tax reduction would be equally unwise.
The groups which receive these grants are able to provide services to the community which could not be handled as cheaply or as efficiently if they were managed by the municipality.
At the latest municipal council meeting, council agreed to provide $290,600 to 14 community organizations.
The biggest allocations are for the Summerland Chamber at $200,000, the Summerland Museum and Heritage Society at $35,000 and Summerland Community Support at $20,000. These three items account for 88 per cent of the total grant funding and each of these items is important for the community as a whole.
The decisions on which organizations will receive money and how much is given out are difficult for any elected body.
While the municipality has a grant policy and other documents governing its support of nonprofit groups, these documents should be reviewed from time to time in order to ensure there is a clear direction in place as these grants are provided.