Grant terms of reference under scrutiny

Community grants award committee will reassess funding requirements

The terms of reference for District of Sooke community grants are to be reviewed to ensure clarity for applicants and dissemination of funds.

“We need to examine the parameters here because it’s too loose,” said Grant Review Committee chair, Maja Tait.

“You know some people made applications solely for operating funds, and unfortunately we can’t fund that, even though the projects are tremendously beneficial for the community.”

The committee’s decision to grant the Sooke Firefighter’s Association $7,100 for the restoration of a historical fire truck, when only $2,500 was requested, caused a stir at the Julycouncil meeting.

Councillor Rick Kasper spoke against the issued amount. He made a motion to go through each grant one at a time, but council ended up approving all amounts at once.

Tait said the increased sum was issued based on the fire department’s written application and oral presentation, adding the committee deliberated in accordance with the terms of reference.

“I’m supporting the work that these hard working people put into things.”

Looking forward, Tait said the applications and terms of reference for community grants will have to be reviewed and updated.

“The whole grant situation with the district needs to be examined.”

Tait also stated a workshop may be held next year to inform applicants on the difference on operating and capital costs, so that people will understand what can and cannot be funded.

“You don’t want anyone to be disappointed.”

This year, local societies requested about $104,000 in total, when only $65,000 was available.