But less than what was asked
M.D. of Lesser Slave River Council convened on Feb. 14 as the Community Assistance Board (CAB) to discuss several applications for grants. This discussion took place largely behind closed doors. The decisions, however, were in open session, as follows:
Gilwood Golf Club was granted $2,500 to help with its Junior Golf program. The Gentle Ben Care Society was granted $5,000 to help with its programs. The Widewater Athletic Association was granted $2,500 to help cover expenses of its annual Widewater Sports Days.
A fourth request, of the Canyon Creek Recreation Association for $2,000 to offset the cost of developing an outdoor skating rink, was transferred to the M.D.’s operations budget.
The three CAB grants were considerably less than requested. Gilwood had asked for $5,940, Gentle Ben had asked for $14,685 and Widewater had requested $5,275.
The annual budget for the CAB is $40,000. This first round of applications totaled almost $28,000, leaving not much for the rest of the year. The board clearly wasn’t prepared to dole out such a big portion of the budget so early in the year, but the details of that discussion were held in camera.
There also appears to have been some disagreement on the Widewater Athletic Association application. CAB chair Brad Pearson asked for a recorded vote, and was the sole ‘nay’ voter.
The reason Gentle Ben’s request was so much higher than usual, council heard, is that a government grant it is used to getting is suddenly not available. This provoked a response from councillor Esau.
“I have great respect for what Gentle Ben does in the community,” he said. “But we should not be expected to pick up funding that the provincial government has provided. We’re struggling to keep our heads above water. To say we’re a replacement for government funding just rubs me the wrong way.”
The next meeting for the CAB is May 9.