Following the recommendations of a citizens advisory group, Port Moody council voted 6-1 Tuesday evening to hand out $18,547 to seven community organizations.
The one voice of dissent came from Coun. Diana Dilworth, who explained that she objects to the concept of using tax money to fund community organizations.
“While $18,000 might seem like a little, there are other ways to spend that in the city,” she said. “It’s not personal against these organizations.”
The seven recipients were selected from 20 groups applying for a total of $50,000. The city had earmarked $20,000 to fund community organizations. However, $2,000 was intended to be set aside for emergency requests.
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“If we obliged them all we would be spending a whole lot of money,” said Coun. Steve Milani.
Coun. Zoe Royer noted that it was another difficult budget.
“I wish that we had a bit more money,” she said, discussing a desire to help more community groups.
Groups getting funding
Crossroads Hospice Society is set to pick up $3,000 to help pay staff as well as to cover some of the costs of food and cleaning supplies and services for patients including an art program, music, and tea service.
Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society is slated to get $1,500 to help the organization handle the weather rising transportation costs. The society is anticipating providing 300 rides to cancer patients this year.
The Immigrant Link Centre Society is also planning to use their $3,000 in funding to pay for gas costs needed to run charity activities.
POCOMO Meals on Wheels Society is slated to use their $2,800 grant to keep meals affordable for their Port Moody customers.
New tents are the order of the day for 1st Glenayre Scouts, who received a $2,747 grant.
Other funding recipients
Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland: $3,000;
Community Ventures Society: $2,500;
Some of the groups not getting funding
The Port Moody Aquarian Summer Swim Club, the Inlet Skating Club, Port Moody Curling Club and the Tri-Cities Female Ice Hockey Association were all denied funding.
The Pacific Post Partum Support Society was also rejected after applying for a $1,000 grant to benefit their telephone counselling program intended to support mothers coping with depression and anxiety.
Abreast In A Boat requested $3,000 to buy paddles and life jackets and to enter regattas in the aim of demonstrating that anyone diagnosed with breast cancer can live an active and healthy life.
Funding was also denied to the College Park Community Association, the Glenayre Community Association, the Friendly Forest Preschool Association, RVN Wellness, and the Wondrous Tree Fellowship.
How it’s decided
Council makes the final decision on grants based on the recommendation of a citizens advisory group.
“We took this out of council’s decision-making hands so that we would avoid being in a position where we are picking and choosing the beneficiaries of these funds,” explained Coun. Meghan Lahti.
Coun. Hunter Madsen agreed.
“This input reflects the voice of the community and not just any favourites we might have,” Madsen said.