Demand prompts increase for grants
The district’s three community patrols could receive a combined funding boost of $6000 if increases to community funding are approved.
It was just one proposed public funding increase the MatamataPiako District Council’s corporate and operations committee would consider at its meeting on Wednesday.
The council’s policy planner Ann-Jorun Hunter’s report to the committee outlined the proposed increases and changes.
It included an extra $15,000 for the district’s community ward grants, an increase of $5000 for the mayoral fund, to $10,000, and up to $6000 to be split evenly among the community patrols in Matamata, Morrinsville and Te Aroha over the 2017/18 financial year.
Hunter’s recommendation also asked that council staff be allowed to speak to the three community patrols about a formal agreement for the funding assistance for the current financial year.
The other increase likely to please, if passed, was for the community ward grants, which under the recommendations would double to $30,000 per year. That’s $10,000 each for Matamata, Morrinsville and Te Aroha applicants.
The council realised $15,000 shared out to three communities wasn’t meeting demand.
In April, it considered 11 applications from Matamata alone for the community grants fund, totalling $16,435, more than what was available.
In total, 32 applications were received throughout the district with one application split across two wards.
On top of the 11 from Matamata, there were 13 from Te Aroha and nine from Morrinsville.
Applications from across the district totalled nearly $80,000, when there was only $15,000 in the fund.
It prompted the council to ask for a review of the community grants fund. The last review was completed in 2013/14.
Council held two workshops to discuss the future role in providing community funding assistance.
It’s those workshops and further analysis of the situation which formed the bulk of the report by Hunter.
If approved, the total increase to the operating budget would be $36,000 for the 2017/18 year.
The report also asked council to confirm the annual budget for the community grants and mayoral fund in the draft 2018-28 long term plan. Council would also confirm how it would review the grants in the future.
Successful applications from the most recent community ward grants round included Matamata Geriatric Day Care Centre, which was granted $250, close to the amount of its $350 application.
Other organisations to achieve the top payout ($500) were the Matamata community patrol, gymnastics and the squash clubs.
Waikato IHC received $300, Red Star Country Music Awards and Rotary Club, received $250 each. Other clubs and organisations were given amounts of between $100 to $200.
Between Hinuera and Matamata Playcentre, whose applications totalled $3600, both received $100 each.
Parents and children enjoying a Christmas function at Matamata Playcentre last year. The playcentre received $100 towards projects from the Matamata-Piako District Council’s community ward grants earlier this year.