The North Valley Gymnastics Society’s application for a Vernon council discretionary grant of $25,000 was not accepted. (Morning Star - file photo)

Vernon doles out discretionary grants

Eight groups out of 26 applications will split more than $25,000; some notables were left out

Limited funds for disbursement. Didn’t meet criteria.

Those are the two main reasons 18 organizations did not receive City of Vernon council discretionary grants, while eight organizations were awarded a total of $25,533 worth of grants.

The city has $50,000 per year for discretionary grants and usually distribute in two intakes, one in the spring, one in the fall. Last year’s grants were handed out only once due to the fall municipal election.

“I’m a little disappointed in the lack of depth of these recommendations,” said Coun. Scott Anderson. “In previous years, there were detailed justifications for saying no or yes. This year it’s just a standard ‘Vernon has limited funds.’ Well that doesn’t tell me anything.

“The BC Dragoons requested $10,000 and I have no idea what they requested, what the justifications were, and no idea why we said no to them. I have trouble rubber stamping something put in front of me like this. I can’t vote for something I know nothing about essentially.”

Couns. Akbal Mund and Kari Gares, and Mayor Victor Cumming sit on the three-person committee that selects and distributes the grants.

“We had requests for more than $240,000 and we have $50,000 to distribute between organizations that apply,” said Mund. “The three of us on the committee went through the applications, we said ‘let’s look at what the terms of reference (for the grants) are, what each individual believes who they should vote for to support.’ We rated them and compared notes.

“There’s no easy way to spread $50,000 out. It was decided by consensus the groups that were getting the grants were the ones we all agreed upon. The ones we didn’t, we didn’t have the funds or they didn’t meet the criteria. It’s that simple.”

The largest grant awarded was a one-time grant of $6,000 (of $8,000 requested) by the Vernon Horseshoe Club for site preparation for the 2020 provincial championships.

Among the applications rejected was one for $25,000 by the North Valley Gymnastics Society to help defer costs of their new facility. The society came before council to specifically request the money and were told to apply for a discretionary grant. Yet the report to council said the society “does not meet the discretionary grant criteria.”

“We were all excited about it (society application) at the time,” said Coun. Brian Quiring. “What went wrong?”

“They didn’t meet the criteria under the terms of reference,” said Mund. “We don’t give out funds to groups who ask for us money but they were told to apply for a grant. Under the terms of reference, they didn’t fall under the criteria. Whoever brought that up hasn’t sat on the committee.”

Added Gares: “It’s not a question of playing favourites. If that was the case, we would have vastly different outcomes than we see today.”

More grants will be awarded in the fall.

Just Posted

Kelowna tops Ashley Madison’s ‘Infidelity Hotlist’

Data from the website reveals Abbotsford and Kelowna hottest spots for cheaters

Downtown Kelowna parkade closed for weekend

All vehicles must be removed from Chapman Parkade by Friday evening for ongoing maintenance

Town hall meeting calls West Kelowna residents

West Kelowna council will host the meeting June 27

Kelowna residents talk about museum modernization

The Royal BC Museum’s public consultation continues until June 27.

Funds needed for special diving team to find missing Okanagan kayaker

Zygmunt Janiewicz was last seen on Okanagan Lake May 17

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP defends dedication to constituents

LETTER: Mel Arnold says he is open and accessible

Okanagan smash-and-grab nets electric bike

Rock thrown through front door of Southward Medical Supplies, bike grabbed from near door

Home care for B.C.’s elderly is too expensive and falls short: watchdog

Report says seniors must pay $8,800 a year for daily visits under provincial home support program

B.C. ‘struggling’ to meet needs of vulnerable youth in contracted care: auditor

Auditor general says youth in contracted residential services may not be getting support they need

Okanagan school digs up $2,500 recycling prize

Kalamalka Secondary students recognized for establishing a new culture of recycling

Billboard posted along B.C.’s Highway of Tears to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women

Billboards featuring Indigenous artwork to be placed in Surrey, Kamloops and near Prince George

Driver loses tire while behind the wheel after lug-nut thief strikes in Burnaby

Burnaby RCMP are investigating after two reports of lug-nut tampering in the city this month

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

Most Read