Council Chooses Community Grants for 2020

As part of a long budget review session, Council today selected who would get community grants from the 2020 budget.  The budget for grants was limited to $50,000 but $143K was requested.  The total budget review meeting was scheduled to take at least from 10:00 pm to 5:00 pm but over-ran and will continue on Friday at 10:00 am (look for follow-up reports about this tomorrow or later). In advance of the meeting, Councillor Adam Bureau had worked with deputy mayor Suzanne Séguin to come up with a list of recipients and he went through these one by one.  Other councillors wanted additions and changes – decisions for four of them were deferred to the end of the review and the dollars remaining were then split amongst them so that the total grant budget came close to $50K.

Adam Bureau - File photo
Adam Bureau – File photo

Some grants were approved at the amounts requested; others were denied either because they did not meet grant policy requirements or because there was insufficient budget.  Some were nominal amounts because the Council wanted simply to show support (that’s my interpretation of what was said – mostly by Nicole Beatty).

The whole approval process – at least at the meeting  – was relatively short.  Councillors were mostly in agreement with the decisions made by Adam and Suzanne although a few were added, cut or increased.

The list below is in the sequence that grants were discussed.  The four that were deferred for a decision to receive what was left over are shown by an asterisk * – they were initially denied.

  Asked Approved Comment
Cobourg & District Historical Society $1,517 $989 No $ for security
Cobourg Collegiate Institute $350 $0  
Cobourg Ecology Garden $2,425 $2,000 As approved in 2019
Cobourg Farmers Market Association $7,929 $0  
Cobourg Highland Games $2,900 $2,000  
Cobourg Museum Foundation – Property Taxes $4,000 $4,000  
Cobourg Museum Foundation – Capital Grant $6,000 $5,500  
Community Care Northumberland $2,000 $2,000  
Fem Blodgett Sunde Commemoration $7,000 $1,000  
Green Wood Coalition $3,000 $2,000  
Horizon of Friendship  * $6,500 $500 Many events are not in Cobourg
La Jeunesse Choirs $2,000 $1,200  
Les Amis $5,000 $2,000  
Marie Dressler $15,000 $4,000  
Northumberland 89.7 FM $3,220 $720  
Northumberland Community Counselling Centre $20,000 $1,000 Must be for clinical support not admin
Northumberland Hispanic Cultural Club  * $2,500 $500  
Northumberland Learning Connection $3,000 $0  
Northumberland Orchestra $5,000 $1,000  
Oriana Singers $3,000 $1,000  
OSGA 55+ Games $250 $250  
Sound of The Next Generation $2,500 $1,500  
Terry Fox Public School- Learning Life Skills Classes $528 $0  
The Children’s Foundation  * $3,200 $1,000 For 2 Cobourg children
Cobourg Lawn Bowling Club $5,500 $5,500 Parking passes
The Help Centre $8,000 $2,000 ESL program
Therapeutic Paws of Canada $415 $243  
Transition House Coalition of Northumberland  * $11,000 $1,673  
Victoria Hall Volunteers $5,000 $5,000  
Victorian Operetta Society $4,000 $1,000  
Total $142,734 $49,575  

Other groups were funded separately – e.g. the AGN.  See later reports (tomorrow?) on this site for those.

Changes are unlikely but these amounts are not official until the full budget is approved on 3 February 2020.

Links

Grant Requests well over Budget – 26 Nov 2019

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4 Comments
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Dave
15 January 2020 6:45 am

Help me understand why the largest grant given was to offset parking expenses at the lawn bowling club? There are a lot of great proposals that NEED support (including 2 schools, transition house, children’s foundation, counselling centres, farmers market, and many others), yet when I read the approved list, it feels like the money is being spent more on museums and clubs? Many are worthwhile, but the town’s priorities seem out of line …

Dave
Reply to  Dave
21 January 2020 8:44 am

Rather than “thumbs down” down me, share your insights. I’m legitimately asking for folks to help me understand what, in my perspective, appears to be spending tax money on clubs that wealthy people join rather than spending it on services that help disadvantaged people in our community. But if there is a flaw in my understanding or I’m missing a piece of the puzzle, please educate me!

Rational
Reply to  Dave
21 January 2020 10:54 am

I do not lawn bowl, but my understanding is this not a club restricted to wealthy people. Rather it provides activity for what appears to be seniors – although their web site does offer programs for youth, adult and seniors. Cost is $175 for adults and $40 for youth for the season which is lengthy and runs bowling 5 days per week providing activities and outings in a nice location by the beach/park. Offering a town subsidy through parking passes in my view represents a “payment in kind” contribution and not a direct use of tax payers dollars; as we don’t know if the full amount of parking fees would have been paid.

greengrass
11 January 2020 8:32 am

one third of grants applied for approved. does this mean that some needy recipients are losing out, or is council just showing restraint with tax payers money?