Fort St. John community groups could see less funding than requested

City staff is recommending Fort St. John city council award grants to eight community groups, although it recommends that five groups not receive the full amount of what they asked for.

The Fort St. John Community Arts Council, the Fort St. John Public Library Association, the Fort St. John Women's Resource Society, the North Peace Justice Society, and Tourism Fort St. John will receive, on average, about 78 per cent of what they asked for in their 2016 base budget grant applications, if council votes the way that staff recommends.

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The funding will be discussed at council's Monday meeting.

The Arts Council asked for $20,000 for its member groups to meet an increase in need for
services.

City staff recommended $15,000, the same amount the city gave last year.

The library asked for $400,000 to support library services. During their presentation, the library said it was the third lowest funded per capita of 71 B.C. public library systems.

Staff recommend awarding the library $380,000, the same amount they gave last year.

The Women's Resource Society asked for $9,180 for its bus program, an increase from last year. City staff recommend awarding $7,475, also the same amount given last year.

The North Peace Justice Society asked for $22,734, the same as its request for 2015. However, the city says funding should be reduced to $20,451 to meet its five-year goal of decreasing grant allocations for operating expenses to 20 per cent of an organization's total revenue. Twenty per cent of the justice society's operating revenue was $11,416 for the 2014 year.

Tourism Fort St. John asked for $71,000 for its tourism plan, $25,000 of which was to hire a staff person. City staff recommend awarding $36,000, the same amount awarded last year.

Meanwhile, staff recommend the North Peace Fall Fair Society receive the $5,000 it requested for the fall fair.

The society applied for a base budget grant for the first time this year, although it received a discretionary grant of $4,000 last year.

The North Peace Historical Society, which runs the museum, asked for $10,000 in funding for 2016, the same amount it received last year. Staff recommend council award the society this amount.

reporter@ahnfsj.ca

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