Grand Forks Council re-opens call for applications for grant-in-aid funding

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
May 13th, 2010

Organizations seeking some extra money to help their endeavours have another opportunity to submit a proposal to the City of Grand Forks for support. In March the city opened the call for proposals for their grant-in-aid program, and on April 19, council made their decisions on the proposals received granting $62,750 to groups. At last council’s meeting on May 10, Councillor Joy Davies argued for an increase to the community gardens funding that was decided in April based on their application. In the end, the question resulted in another open call for proposals.

During her report to council, Davies said that the community gardens group had made application to other programs for funding to match the amount received from city council based on their grant-in-aid application. The funding requests to other programs were not approved, leaving the gardens project short of the amount needed to proceed this year.

Davies put forward a motion to provide an additional $2000 to the project from the grant-in-aid budget. She argued that the budget for the grant-in-aid program of $75,000 had not yet been fully expended and that the additional money was available. Her motion was not passed.

“They (community gardens) were not granted any funds. So they are basically $2000 short to finish the work they need to get done this year to get it up and running. They did not ask for higher amount during the grant-in-aid process,” said Davies. “They have actually cut back in many areas, but it’s imperative to get the gardens up and running for the community that water be there and therefore they’re requesting $2000 to make that happen.”

Councillor Gene Robert and Councillor Michael Wirischagin both reacted immediately to her request using examples of two other community groups that missed the application deadline and need funding.

“I too represent a group that’s moving at a very fast track. Unfortunately we never made the first grant-in-aid application, but conditions have changed and we do require some seed money. I would like the opportunity, if council approves this, for council to consider the public safety committee for $2000 which is seed for us to get up and running,” explained Robert. “If the table is open for this, then I really want council to consider the public safety committee. I think it’s imperative that we get an opportunity at the table too.”

In order to maintain fairness of opportunity, Councillor Christine Thompson proposed that council open the application process up again and solicits more proposals.

“I would like to see another application for a grant-in-aid come forward. We do have a policy in place, I would like to suggest that we open it up again for other applications to come in,” said Thompson. “We as a council did not grant out all the funds that we have included in our financial plan. We have an opportunity now to reconsider additional applications if we so choose. I am a councilor that would like to be able to do that. All of the organizations need to have an opportunity to put forward their request if they have missed the deadline. I think this year is unique.”

Community organizations must get their applications into city hall by the closing date of May 21, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. in order to be eligible for the remaining grant-in-aid funding. Applications for the 2011 grant-in-aids will be accepted until August 31, 2010.


Categories: Politics