More than $60 000 was awarded to community groups across Benalla and district last Thursday as part of the 2014 community grants program.
Benalla Rural City community development manager Jane Archbold said the program was an exciting project for council, which resulted in 36 community groups benefiting from $61 623 of council funding.
Council’s 2013-14 budget allocated only $60 443 to the Community Grants Program from its $77 443 Community Support Program; the $1180 shortfall was funded from the Community Sponsorship Program budget.
Forty-five community groups sought a total of $97 541 in funding, with total projected costs valued at $197 194.
Benalla Rural City Council approved the scheme this month, which drew praise from councillors.
‘‘This is a really great, diverse group of clubs covering both town and country,’’ Councillor Ellen Crocker said.
‘‘It’s fantastic we can give something back to the community,’’ Councillor Peter Davis said.
Groups receiving funding included the Baddaginnie Community Inc ($2500) for support to run an independent not-for-profit opportunity shop in Baddaginnie; Benalla All Blacks Football Netball Club ($2500) for the upgrade of hot water supply to the change rooms; Benalla Cemetery Trust ($2500) for an undercover area in the chil- dren’s section of the lawn cemetery; Benalla Scout Group ($1860) for the purchase of two automatic external training defibrillators and training pads; Boweya Community ($2500) for kitchen upgrades to the community centre; RDA Benalla ($2500) for repair work to the building damaged by white ant infestation; and Magpies Sports Club ($2332) to resurface the cricket pitch.
Nine applications were rejected, and Ms Archbold said this was due to late applications and previous funding received.
Supporting the community: Benalla Rural City handed out more than $60 000 of small grants to community groups last week. Picture: Jan Osmotherly