Want a grant? BLC has new rules!

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County has changed its grants policy for community organizations seeking grants.

At its regular meeting Aug 9, council approved and updated grants policy that sets a new formula to create an annual grants budget.

Council established a grants budget to a maximum of 6 per cent property tax revenue from the municipal tax levy only as a budget to be distributed through all grant funding categories.

From the total budget, 85 per cent will be allocated to operational grant funding and 15 per cent to capital grant funding.

Previously, population of the area was considered in the funding formula.

Organizations are urged to meet the application deadline of Oct. 31 for funding for the following year.

“There’s going to be a push to encourage organizations to apply by Oct. 31,” grants officer Samantha Smith says.

Late applications will still be considered by council, she notes.

Smith also plans to offer support to community groups, says Dave Reynolds, director of corporate services.

“She’s going to work with each organization,” Reynolds says.

Joussard Councillor Richard Mifflin says it’s important to fund and support local organizations that operate community halls, museums and programs for recreation and seniors.

“We need them to stay around,” Mifflin says.

“We need to make sure they are strong and viable.”

Each grant funding category is eligible to receive up to 30 per cent of the organization’s annual budget or the designated maximum amount, whichever is lower.

Hamlet recreation applications are eligible for a maximum $50,000.

Community halls and organizations are eligible for a maximum $10,000.

Museums are eligible for a maximum $20,000.

Seniors programming is eligible for a maximum $5,000.

Capital grant funding requests may be funded by the county up to 50 per cent of the project or a maximum $25,000.

Maximum grant funding is subject to council’s final decision.

Cemetery funding has been increased to $2,000 from $1,000 in response to project costing and economic inflation.

The policy is a set of guidelines and procedures that each community organization organization follows to receive grant funding from the county.

The purpose of the grants policy is to provide a clear framework for the country grant process to ensure transparency, equality and accountability.

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