Council gives green light to community funding requests

It was mostly a green-light kind of day Monday as Osoyoos Council reviewed community asks for funding.

There were, however, a few yellows and reds along the way.

Council spent more than an hour Monday afternoon reviewing requests for funding delivered to a special open budget meeting January 16.

The January session was a chance for Osoyoos residents to bring pet projects — and peeves — to Council’s attention, explain why their concern is important and ask Council to throw a little money their way.

Presenters representing 11 different groups did exactly that; Monday they learned their fate.

The light was green for six of the 11 projects, with community events, programming and opportunities seeming to catch the eye of Council.

In total, Council approved $33,900 in funding from various sources, including general reserves, Resort Municipality Initiative funding and the grant-in-aid program.

Council approved:

  • $5,000 in funding from general reserves to the Osoyoos Pickleball Club to supplement funding needed to complete outdoor pickleball courts adjacent to Osoyoos Secondary School. The Town was already committing $15,000 required for the $30,000 project — with $10,000 more coming from the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. The $5,000 bump might be recovered if the pickleball club is successful in accessing a New Horizons grant.

 

  • $5,500 in Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) funding to Cactus Jalopies to cover the costs of a popular motorcycle thrills show scheduled as part of the early-June car show.
  • $3,400 extra to the Osoyoos Festival Society to cover expected additional expenses as Canada celebrates its 150th birthday. The extra $3,400, paid through RMI funding, would cover the cost of decorations, music, float improvements and emergency service costs. The society annually receives another $6,000 through the Town’s grant-in-aid program.
  • $5,000 in RMI funding to assist the Desert Park Exhibition Society with a scheduled Medieval Village event scheduled for the May long weekend.
  • $5,000 from reserve funds to cover remaining costs of a natural elements playground the Osoyoos Elementary School PAC wants to complete at OES. The playground would combine landscape elements and other site amenities built with natural materials to create play structures.
  • Up to $10,000 in RMI funding for Music in the Park to provide for deposits as the popular summer music event looks to book acts for 2018.

A number of asks were deferred as Council looks for additional information from various groups. These include:

  • An Osoyoos Airport Development Society ask for $48,000. The society wants to complete an Airport Master Plan, add a runway extension, markings, perimeter fencing and apron improvements and do a comprehensive site clean at the Osoyoos Airport. Council deferred funding, however as the society has potential provincial grant funding covering up to $250,000 of the $330, 000 project and has $80,000 coming from other sources, including $16,000 from Destination Osoyoos, which is largely funded by the Town.
  • An Osoyoos Child Care Centre ask for $27,820 for flooring replacement and $19,217 for installation of solar panels. Council is asking the child care society to provide more information on how much it actually needs to complete the projects, what other resources it has in place to cover costs and also to provide a cost benefit analysis and structure report.

Council also gave the red light to three requests for funding:

  • A $1,200 ask from the Osoyoos Gift Cupboard. Mayor Sue McKortoff expressed the majority view of Council when she noted the Gift Cupboard seems “to have lots of product to put in there and I really think that people volunteering and providing donations to a project like this is the way to go. Councilors CJ Rhodes and Mike Campol disagreed, arguing $100 a month would make the Cupboard a “much better thing” and it appeared the informal organization steps up “when there are needs and opportunities throughout the community.”
  • A $2,000 request from the Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society to make some “important educational upgrades” to its website and print materials. Council felt this project would be better funded through a grant-in-aid application.
  • Harbour Key improvements. A community ask for improvements to Harbour Key Drive was set aside as Jim Dinwoody, the Town’s Director of Operational Services noted “there are far worse roads in our community than Harbour Key. I wouldn’t recommend bumping it ahead of schedule of other roads that need more serious consideration first.”

The budget additions will be added to the ongoing 2017 budget discussion. A final town budget is expected in March.

 

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