Lac Lac Biche County Council received funding recommendations for grant applications received as part of the October 31, 2021 Community Development Grant application at the last council meeting.
On March 1, Carl Kurppa, Grants and Community Funding Coordinator presented the information to elected officials. The county received four requests totaling $192,931. The budget available for this program is $175,000. Recommendations from the administration were made to elected officials to respect the budget currently available.
The following four applicants requested the following amounts:
- Community Learning for Adults Students Society – Lac La Biche and District: $45,000
- Lac La Biche Canadian Native Friendship Centre: $52,433
- Lakeland Out of the Elements Shelter Society: $55,407
- Hope Haven Society: $22,160
A committee of four people evaluated the applications.
Applications were reviewed against four basic criteria:
- Need for the activities proposed in the grant application: how critical is the need addressed?
- Expected results: To what extent will the activities effectively address the above need?
- The need for funding: Has the organization explored other funding options, or is the organization able to fund the activities on its own?
“We had our budget of $175,000. And then, we hypothetically assume, how much would each organization get if all applications were assessed equally? So the result would have been, $22,260 for Hope Haven, then $50,000 for each of the other organizations,” Kurppa said.
From there, the administration adjusted each of those numbers based on the relative strength of the nominations.
“Each member of the committee reviewed the nominations, and then we met, discussed and deliberated,” Kurppa said. “We reached consensus on the amount. That being said, each member of the committee might see things a little differently. So even if the end result was the same, there could still be different perspectives on each application. »
Kurppa presented a summary of the analysis to the board.
“In our view, Hope Haven had a lower financial need than the other two organizations. But then again, they asked for less money. So the $22,000, we thought was okay,” Kurppa said. “So the decision to allocate the remaining $152,000 was made based on the relative strength of the three organizations, Community Learning, Native Friendship Center and the shelter, like I said, they all have needs. similar financials. »
Kurppa felt that the issue of homelessness was a current priority for the Council, given that the Council is working with several organizations to address it, and that providing emergency shelter is an essential service for the community.
“You see homelessness as the most pressing issue, followed by food security, then continuing education,” Kurppa told the council. “We believe Out of the Elements and Friendship Center are specialized in the services they provide to address homelessness and food security. »
Community learning offers some activities that address food security through the stone soup kitchen as it is a social service and provides emergency provisions, Kurppa added.
“We felt that funding should be focused on organizations best suited to carry out activities that somehow fall within their mandate,” Kurppa said. “The Stone Soup Kitchen has a food safety component. It also has elements of waste reduction, and we felt this was not as in line with the mandate of social services, although there are elements and it is not fair to say that it is not is not at all within the scope of the mandate. So we felt that all the nominations were well-founded and I think that’s reflected in the recommendations. There are no big disparities. I guess the only disparity you can see is that Hope Haven gets less, but that’s the amount they asked for, we didn’t reduce them to that amount.
There was $175,000 in the county’s approved 2022 budget allocated for these requests.
In 2021, the administration has budgeted $150,000 for the Community Development Grant. The board elected to increase the budget to $200,000. Discussion regarding this decision to increase the 2021 budget (April 6, 2021 Board meeting) suggested that the decision was to temporarily provide more funding to accommodate the challenges caused by COVID-19.
The administration chose to budget $175,000 rather than increase the amount.
Ward 6 Councilor Sterling Johnson said at the meeting: “Yeah, for me, I think right now we’re not quite out of the pandemic, although it might seem like today not wearing masks. I think the social and community services offered through all of these programs are still vitally important. I would therefore like to propose that we approve the full amount requested. »
Ward 7 Councilor and Deputy Mayor Lorin Tkachuk introduced the motion asking council to approve the funding requests.
The board voted and approved the budget of $175,000.