Champlain Township prepares community grants policy
Champlain Township is seeing more demand for use of municipal facilities from community service clubs and non-profit groups for their special events and fundraisers. Township council and staff want to show support for these groups while also showing fiscal prudence to area taxpayers.
Prior to its summer break, township council gave approval in principle, during the June 13 session, to a recommendation from its economic development and tourism advisory committee for a community and facility usage grants policy. Township administration is now contacting local groups and clubs to let them know about the new policy proposal, the application deadline, and also get their feedback.
Chief Administrative Officer Paula Knudsen said, during a later phone interview, that her staff is contacting those groups that have applied in the past to the township for either a community grant or subsidized use of a municipal facility, like the Vankleek Hill Community Centre, as a venue for a special event or fundraiser. Staff will explain the new policy that includes an October 15 deadline for grant applications and facility use requests. But Knudsen emphasized that the township wants all groups and individuals to be aware of the new policy proposed for dealing with community grant requests because it will prove important as part of future municipal budgeting efforts.
“We want to be transparent with the taxpayers’ money,” said Knudsen, adding that Champlain Township has not had a formal policy for dealing with community grant requests. The usual practice has been to deal with requests from non-profit groups for either support grants for their projects or subsidized use of a municipal facility for a special event or a fundraiser on a caseby-case basis during the regular council sessions.
The recommendation from the economic development committee concerned procedures for recognizing non-profit groups which needed help with their projects and fundraisers, and separating those matters from the various small community grant L’administration du canton de Champlain est en train de mettre au point une nouvelle politique de subventions communautaires pour répondre à la demande croissante de clubs communautaires et de groupes à but non lucratif pour l’utilisation subventionnée d’installations municipales comme le Centre communautaire de Vankleek Hill pour des événements spéciaux et des collectes de fonds. development committee on the community grants policy. Part of the reason is to determine the revenue cost to the township from allowing use of community centres and other facilities for free or at a reduced rate for such activities. It will also indicate how large a portion those requests are of the total user time for such facilities.
The committee will review all this information for another updated report and recommendations to council, later in the year, on a municipal community grants and facility usage policy.