Groups present funding requests to Fernie council

Over $140,000 requested.

On April 3, a number of community groups made presentations to council in the hopes of receiving community grants to fund a variety of projects.

The Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Program are making the funds available. The RDEK facilitates the program by advertising it, receiving all applications and providing the City of Fernie with the ones that meet the guideline criteria.

The applicants that met the guidelines attended the public meeting and made short presentations to council on their projects.

Community groups requested much more money than was available. The total funding allotted for Fernie groups this year is approximately $69,500 but almost double that amount, over $140,000, was requested.

The largest request came from the Fernie Lions Club Society, which asked for $30,240 to help pay for the Lions Club Legacy Bleachers.

Other sizeable applications came from the Elk Valley Thrift Shop Society, requesting $20,000 for an elevator and the Fernie Pets Society, asking for $20,000 to fence in a dog park.

Other requests were more modest. The East Kootenay Climbing Association requested $100 for bolt replacements and the Elk Valley Air Search and Rescue Association asked for $1,000 for training and administration costs.

Deputy clerk Suzanne Garand said the distribution of the funding is at council’s discretion. Criteria for funding includes the type of project, the impact to the community and the amount of money requested.

Council made a formal recommendation as to which groups should receive grants at the April 10 meeting, which was forwarded to the RDEK.

The RDEK usually awards the funds at the end of June, said Garand.