Ask and you may not receive

Several community groups walked away with less than they asked for in cash gifts, as West Kelowna council looked at grants-in-aid during the 2011 budget.

  • Jan. 21, 2011 9:00 a.m.

Coun. Carol Zanon

Several community groups walked away with less than they asked for in cash gifts, as West Kelowna council looked at grants-in-aid during the 2011 budget.

Finance manager Lorne Raymond noted several grant-in-aid applications were repeats from the previous year.

The Lakeview Heights Community Association asked for $300 cash to cover liability insurance for their directors, and an additional $450 grant in non-cash.

Both requests were deferred until a report comes forward to the district from neighborhood associations in mid-February.

Among issues discussed for the community associations policy were West Kelowna acquiring insurance for the groups, or giving them the opportunity to access district facilities at little or no cost.

Coun. Carol Zanon noted there are some organizations that meet in condominium establishments or people’s basements.

“I just would like to see this on a fair basis,” she said.

The West Kelowna Yacht Club received $5,000. Its request was for $9,000, after receiving $7,000 last year.

Coun. Duane Ophus said he thought $7,000 was too much, but supported the club getting the same as last year.

Club operations manager Gordon Brown said work on the boat launch upgrades have progressed well, and will be essentially done within the next two months. The district upgraded the bulkhead wall on their side of the left ramp. Brown noted the other side of the launch needs an assessment done, and he is not sure who owns it.

Neis pointed out that in light of the district’s work on the ramp and parking across the street, she would feel more comfortable with a $5,000 grant.

“It is a private club, as we all know,” said Neis.

Coun. David Knowles noted that part of the request includes $2,000 for the supply and maintenance of public buoys, an item he believes was still in from last year.

“I don’t think there’s too many buoys out there, since we had them all removed.”

Mayor Doug Findlater noted the club does provide public parking and education on boater safety.

The Westside Canadian Red Cross received $11,700, an identical grant to what the organization received last year.

Findlater noted the grant allows the organization to have a facility in West Kelowna.

Coun. Gord Milsom noted his only concern is that West Kelowna has provided funding that essentially covers the full rent, but they are not the only community the Red Cross provides service to from that location. He pointed out Westbank First Nation and perhaps Peachland receive services, but he did not see funding from those local governments.

Findlater said it was a small amount of money, but the benefits are immense to people who receive the service regardless of where they live.

The Westside Celebration Society received $16,000 of the $18,000 it asked for.

Raymond said the increased request over last year was due to the society wanting to do more during Westside Dayz.

“We’ve increased our support for them significantly over the past few years,” said Coun. Duane Ophus.

A request from the Westbank and District Chamber of Commerce for $105,000 to fund Tourism Westside was deferred until a report from the district’s business development officer in February.

Ophus said the request should be taken out of the grants-in-aid process altogether and put under the economic development officer.

He said he hopes if the district is going to proceed with Tourism Westside, that it will not be a grant-in-aid program anymore.

Neis noted it had more to do with the Chamber organization.

She pointed out the organization put together some great printed material that was well received, but failed to go out and get advertising for it.

The 1st Westside Scouts was turned down in their request for $1,000 to subsidize camps and run programs, after a divided vote by council.

Neis supported it, noting she wanted to see costs kept reasonable for keeping kids in Scouts.

Ophus noted the group is one of potentially dozens of similar groups across the community looking for money.

“If we go down the road of supporting them, we’ll have to support all of them.”

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