Grant-in-aid policy options discussed by Grand Forks city council

At a recent Grand Forks Committee of the Whole meeting, council discussed different options regarding grant-in-aid.

At the July 22 Grand Forks Committee of the Whole (COTW) meeting, council discussed different options regarding its grant-in-aid policy.

The issue had been the topic of discussion at a COTW meeting in June, but had been deferred.

At the July 22 meeting, Doug Allin, CAO for the City of Grand Forks, told council he had received feedback from two Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) directors.

“The Area C and Area D directors realize they have their own process, but they’re interested in understanding how we could somehow work together in defining how people are going about utilizing grants – not necessarily how they allocate them but just how they’re using them,” he said.

City staff recommended to council that a directive be given to organizations to research other granting options that may be available, such as provincial and federal grants.

“There are multiple venues available for people to acquire money but a lot of times people come to the city first,” said Allin. “The provincial government, the federal government, various non-profit agencies for different groups. The TSN Kraft celebration tour – that’s $25,000 that’s available to groups that want to do stuff. There’s a Benjamin Moore paint facelift for communities and different groups to apply.

“So there’s money out there. It’s just about making it available for people to access. That’s one of the things we’re proposing in our policy – we would have access on our website for the different locations and we would have standing letters of support, so people would have the city’s support in these grants. And If all else failed, if they still came to the city – at least council would know the path they’ve taken. It’ll allow a cleaner process for people to know where there are funding options.”

Staff also looked into the use of an umbrella association to distribute funds to organizations on behalf of council using the local Phoenix Foundation as an example. In addition, staff looked into a Community Spirit Event Funding program which would see a yearly budgeted “in-kind” amount based on past event experiences be available for small events within the community of Grand Forks.

“Council’s given us instructions to develop a draft policy, which we’re working on right now,” said Diane Heinrich, corporate officer and manager of community services. “Depending on how much research needs to be done it’ll most likely be ready for the Sept. 30 council meeting for presentation. The policy will outline all the things that were put in the report. Council will look at it and debate and maybe decide there are pieces they want pulled so staff will amend it.”

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