SUMMING IT UP: Grand Forks City Council

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
January 16th, 2012

Community organizations looking to address financial challenges by securing funding from city coffers were delayed until budgeting is completed.  Boundary Emergency and Transition Housing Society (BETHS) and the Boundary District Arts Council (BDAC) both spoke to the City of Grand Forks last Monday, Jan. 9 seeking commitments for their initiatives.  Tonya Galloway, co-ordinator for BETHS asked council to consider annualized funding to support their staff costs and to assist the group, currently offering emergency winter shelter for the homeless, to work on securing a permanent home.  “We’re keeping people off the streets, alive, and for the 12 hours that the individuals come… they are not using drugs,” Galloway commented. “We’re partnering with the RCMP for reducing crime and crime prevention in our work, because we’re there all night and people are safe and warm.”  Volunteers with BDAC were looking to the city to commit funds towards the Kettle River Arts Festival which is entering its second year and hopes to build on the success of their first festival in 2010.  “We haven’t heard anything from the city about whether you’re going to do grants-in-aid so we are concerned about that, we would like to know,” said Ray LaFluer, BDAC president, addressing application deadlines for other funding. “If we’re going to do this 2012 festival we need to be able to act more quickly.”  Over the past council’s term $75,000 was given out annually to community groups in the form of a grant-in-aid program. This new council must decide if it will continue to provide grants or whether they will be taking a different tack with community requests. That won’t happen until after they do a strategic planning session on Jan. 24 and 25, added councillor Cher Wyers.  Both delegations were received by council and referred to their upcoming budget process.  City banking stays put  Council passed a motion to renew their contract with the Grand Forks District Credit Union for a five year term. The report to council by chief financial officer Cecile Arnott indicated that, “based on the past record of banking service and financial relationship built with the present service provider, the current financial institution continues to meet the city’s banking needs.”  Bylaws approved  The final reading was approved for bylaw #1930 amending the electrical rates to account for increases passed on to the city from FortisBC. (See the full story here)

Council also passed bylaw 1931 for revenue anticipation which allows for the coverage of its financial obligations with borrowing of up to $2 million as necessary for cash flow purposes. 

Categories: GeneralPolitics