The Town of Slave Lake has allocated $35,000 in the Family and Community Support Services budget this year to support local groups or programs that fit into the FCSS criteria. The first round of applications for those grants totaled an optimistic $83,782.
In her report for council’s March 20 meeting, FCSS Coordinator Haylie Millard had scaled those down to a more manageable $19,150. Councillors were generally agreeable with her recommendations, but one of the requests didn’t make the cut.
Referring to a request for funding for a ‘coping skills toolbox’ for graduating students at Roland Michener School, councillor Darin Busk said, “Shouldn’t the school and AHS have funding for this?”
“I struggle with that too,” said mayor Tyler Warman. “We have no idea if it’s going to be successful, and we’re the only ones putting money into it?”
Councillor Shawn Gramlich had reservations about a request from the Slave Lake Wesleyan Church for funding for a ‘Summer Fun’ program.
“It seems a big chunk of money,” he said. “Have they done this before?”
“I’ll advocate for them,’ said Warman. “They have had success (in other programs). Council could do more to support the northwest.”
Council supported (by a 5 – 1 vote) a Julie Brandle motion to approve four of the seven requests at the reduced amounts. Her motion also called for the $750 recommended for the coping skills toolbox to be added to the amount granted to the Northwest Central FASD Services Network Society. This group plans to hire a mentor, and had requested $25,000 towards that purpose. Instead they’ll get $5,250.
The Healthy Choices for Moms & Babes program gets $3,900. The Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre gets $5,000 and the Wesleyan Church gets $5,000.
Slave Lake Victim Services’ request for help to cover the costs of sending staff to a conference was turned down altogether. Also, E.G. Wahlstrom School’s application for support for its breakfast club was denied, because it didn’t fit the FCSS criteria, Millard said.
The deadline for the next round of FCSS grants is June 30.