Saturday, June 22, 2024
June 22, 2024

LCC disburses grants-in-aid

Salt Spring officials anguished over community funding last week, as requests exceeded the available budget — and tough decisions were hammered out. 

The island’s Local Community Commission (LCC) finalized plans for distributions through its grants-in-aid funding Thursday, May 16, answering requests from more than a dozen Salt Spring organizations for one-time support dollars. And despite a modest carryover surplus in the fund, the answer for some “spring intake” applicants would be “no.”  

Indeed, even for those who will receive funding, most will not be getting as much as hoped — in an effort, commissioners said, to have something left for another round of applications in six months. 

“I am struck,” said commissioner Brian Webster, “by how much really valuable work is happening in so many different areas in our community. It’s quite stunning. But my overall feeling is we’re going to have to give a little bit of disappointment to almost everybody.” 

Including the carry-over, the LCC’s budget for all 2024 grants sat at nearly $54,000; had they fully funded every spring intake request made by the April 30 deadline, they would’ve run out of cash — and been more than $9,000 short.  

The process was clearly painful for commission members. 

“Every one of us knows every one of these applicants,” said commissioner Gayle Baker. “We care so deeply about our friends and our neighbours, and we’re looking at picky things. It’s not personal.” 

Recipients of funding will include — in no particular order — Salt Spring Literacy ($997.54), Bandemonium Music Society ($2,150), The Circle Salt Spring Education Society ($2,000), the Wagon Wheel Housing Society ($2,500), Copper Kettle Community Partnership ($5,000), Gulf Islands Community Radio Society ($2,770), Transition Salt Spring Society ($5,000), the Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust Society ($4,000), the Salish Sea Inter-Island Transportation Society ($4,000) and the Salt Spring Community Health Society ($5,000). 

Approved for funding — but waiting briefly, in case the project can be funded by Community Works dollars instead — was the Salt Spring Abattoir ($5,000). A request for $3,150 from Capital Bike was deferred for additional information, and requests from the Lady Minto Hospital Auxiliary Society (for $5,000), the Salt Spring Island Chamber of Commerce (for $5,000) and the Salt Spring and Southern Gulf Islands Community Services Society (for $12,000) were not approved. 

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