Sechelt provides funding

Sechelt council agreed to give out $55,500 worth of grants in aid to organizations on the Coast during their May 23 committee of the whole meeting, leaving $1,500 in the account to deal with community needs that may arise before the end of the year.

Council had 23 requests this year asking for $158,000.

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The grant in aid budget was set at $57,000 for 2012, leaving councillors with some tough decisions.

Groups that ended up without funding included Community Futures, Deer Crossing the Art Farm, Halfmoon Bay Child Care Centre and the Travel Ambassadors program. Three of those four groups will likely see some type of funding from the District, however.

Councillors voted to give $1,000 to the Travel Ambassadors program out of their tourism budget and both Community Futures and Deer Crossing the Art Farm will have their requests looked at when council discusses expenditures from the business development budget at a later date.

Halfmoon Bay Child Care Centre did not get any support for their request of $12,000.

"I believe this is something the SCRD should be involved in and not the District of Sechelt," Coun. Doug Hockley said, moving council deny the request at the meeting.

Coun. Darnelda Siegers spoke in favour of giving some money to the centre, noting council heard during the election that lack of childcare is an issue in Sechelt.

Coun. Alice Lutes agreed childcare is important and should be funded, but she didn't think it was the District of Sechelt's role to do it.

"I think we should be lobbying the federal government to be funding it, not municipalities, because I am in support of daycares," she said.

Only Siegers and Mayor John Henderson were opposed and the motion passed. Coun. Mike Shanks was not in attendance.

Of the groups that were awarded funding, the Sechelt Downtown Business Association saw the largest chunk with $16,000 going towards their Canada Day celebrations, Christmas events and Thursday Night Markets.

The group to get the second largest total grant was the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives, which will see $7,000 to replace an aging roof.

The Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, the Sunshine Coast Salmonid Enhancement Society and the West Sechelt Playground Enhancement Committee each received $5,000 toward their efforts.

Some $2,000 amounts were earmarked for a Chatelech Secondary School bursary, the Community Resource Centre and the Ruby Lake Lagoon Nature Reserve.

The grant-in-aid recommendations will now go to a regular council meeting for formal adoption.

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