Richmond wants to change grant policies

ARICHAT: Richmond County started the process of amending grant policies, which was laid out in last month’s municipal budget.

During the regular monthly meeting of Richmond Municipal Council on May 28, council gave notice to adopt a Grants Policy and gave notice to repeal the Core Community Organization Funding Policy; the Municipal District Infrastructure Fund Policy; the Municipal District Activity Fund Policy; the Policy on Recreation Grants to Community Organizations; and the Youth Leadership Development Grants Policy.

During a grant policy meeting prior to the budget, Warden Brian Marchand said the municipality decided how much money it was going to provide for grants, then at the next meeting, approved funding to specific groups.

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Marchand said money was set aside for new groups, as well as those requiring emergency funding.

“We wanted to streamline our grant policy, we were giving out… a lot of money,” Marchand said. “So we cut back by at least $200,000-plus on the total grants. A lot of the councillors kind’ve felt that we should make a decision on who gets money.

“We’ll have a little bit of money there for organizations that do come throughout the year, if there’s emergency funding.”

In Richmond County’s recent municipal budget, grant funding was reduced by $205,000 and the approval process aligned to reflect public input. According to the municipality, this new grant process will reduce the amount of expenditures, while allowing for strategic and prioritized community funding.

“It would minimize all these applications that are put out, it would minimize the issue that was brought up before, that organizations were getting money through four or five different grant [sources],” Marchand explained.

Grant requests approved for funding on May 28 include: $100,000 for Strait Area Transit; $4,000 for the Cape Breton Food Hub; $10,000 to St. Martha’s Regional Hospital; $25,000 to the Strait Richmond Palliative Care Society; $5,000 to St. Ann Community and Nursing Care Centre; $5,000 to the Strait-Richmond Hospital Foundation; $10,000 to five food banks; $3,000 to Strait Area Ground Search and Rescue; $2,500 to the Adult Drop-In Centre; $10,000 for the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Cancer Centre; $7,205 for Destination Cape Breton; $5,000 for Celtic Colours; $2,500 for Superport Days 2018; $2,000 for recreation at Richmond Villa; $2,500 for the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce; $250 for the Relay for Life; $2,500 to LeNoir Forge Museum; $2,500 for Nicolas Denys Museum; $2,000 for the Point Tupper Heritage Association; $2,000 for the Oceanview Wildlife Museum Association; $2,000 to MacAskill House Museum; $3,000 for local schools; and $2,000 for the Port Hawkesbury Paper Tournament.

The Committee-of-the-Whole also forwarded grant requests of $500 to the Isle Madame Small Options Society and $5,000 to Royal Canadian Legion Branch 110 in L’Ardoise, which were approved by council.