Community Grants Policy

The Policy for Community Grants was set some time ago – see Resources below – but at the budget meetings in February 2023, Council passed a motion to review the Policy to at least make the process more efficient and possibly do away with community grants altogether. Specifically, a motion was passed directing staff to explore options and report back by June 2023. If you look at the video of the Feb 9 meeting, this motion is passed at around the 1:17 mark but it’s not recorded in the minutes. I reported this motion and the list of approved grants in a Post on February 10 titled “Last Year for Community Grants?”. Applications for the 2024 grants are now being accepted although rules may change. Staff are doing the requested review – Brent mentioned that he’s working on it when he introduced Revisions to Policies on Free Parking on 21 February.

Council Direction

Here’s the Motion that was passed that approved 2023 grants and asked for a review:

And further that Council has approved a total of $40,352 for community grants in the 2023 operating budget, being $24,152 of in-kind support and $16,200 in Cash contributions under the Municipal Community Grant Program;
And further that Council direct staff to review the Community Grant Policy including options to cease the program, streamline the application process for more efficient decision making or offer special rental and parking rates for non­profit organizations;
And further that a report be brought back to Council by June 2023.

In discussion, Councillor Darling was against cash grants but was OK with in-kind. Also mentioned was the idea that groups wanting annual grants should create memorandums of understanding (MOU’s) – Brent includes that idea as one of his recommendations.

I also note that the amounts approved over the years seem small. $40K in 2023 (17 grants); $30K in 2022 (19 grants); $29K in 2021 (11 grants). Compare this to $125K for Pickleball courts and $100K towards a new Skateboard facility although these were contingent on fundraising by user groups.

In his report on “Revisions to Policies on Free Parking”, Brent listed some significant changes – see report in Resources. It’s expected they will be included in his June report.

Whatever is decided (or not) will affect the 2024 grants.

Resources

Cobourg News Blog

Town Links

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Bryan
8 months ago

JD wrote “ If you look at the video of the Feb 9 meeting, this motion is passed at around the 1:17 mark but it’s not recorded in the minutes”

This is worrisome for several reasons:

  1. The motion wasn’t recorded
  2. Members of Council did not note the omission and approved the minutes at the following meeting
  3. Staff (Clerk) did not notice the omission
Kevin
Reply to  Bryan
8 months ago

Yes, and there are a couple of editing issues with the new Parking By-Law. These are important documents. In the case of parking could a lawyer dispute a ticket and win, in some cases, because of the errors? Minutes of meetings are important documents. Hopefully somebody is doing a follow up to minimize these errors.

Bryan
Reply to  Kevin
8 months ago

Kevin,
“Hopefully somebody is doing a follow up to minimize these errors”

Council members are supposed to do this. That is why the minutes are not approved until the next meeting……to provide time to review the minutes before approval.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Bryan
8 months ago

JUST IMAGINE WHAT OTHER SELFSERVING ITEMS MAY HAVE SLIPPED THROUGH
over the years , Are councilors there just for the pay cheque or will this group take the Job more seriously I know the New Mayor is certainly trying to bring clarity and responsibility back to the Town office but it appears to be an uphill push from days of old