City of Terrace confirms grant payments

Profits from community forest to be distributed separately from regular city tax pool

POLICIES by which grant money is given out by the city were examined last night, with one city councillor arguing that a single policy and selection mechanism would be better than the current system by which grant recipients are chosen through two streams.

Terrace Community Forest, an independently operated logging company owned by the city, is giving $100,000 to community organizations.

A second decision making process goes into choosing the regular community grant recipients, which will receive $73,892.

The regular grants come directly from the municipal tax pool, while the Community Forest grants comes from timber sales by the arms-length corporation.

At last night’s council meeting merging the two streams under a single policy was debated.

Currently a committee made up of community forest directors, city councillors and the city finance director make the decision about who gets money from community forest profits.

A policy says that community forest profits will go to mainly land-based projects that reflect some of the values of forestry, while a minority go to community groups without obvious affiliations to the land base.

Currently city council meets to decide who gets the regular community grants.

Councillor Bruce Bidgood said he thought that the two separate decision making processes could be combined because they both are dealing with city money.

However councillor Brian Downie, who is the chair of the community forest distribution committee, disagreed, saying “there were clearly two different sets of decisions being made” and that lumping them in would mean that the distinct policy surrounding both granting streams would be compromised.

Downie added that the community forest officials might be unhappy if they were no longer part of the body that decides who gets the money.

“They are the ones making the dividends and profits,” Downie reminded council, stressing that it might not be wise to leave them without a say.

No motion was made to change the policy.

This year’s recipients of the $100,000 from Terrace Community Forest are the Downtown Tree Project ($12,000), Howe Creek Trails ($5,000), Kitsumgallum Cemetery ($10,000), My Mountain Co-op ($15,000), Skeena Valley Golf and Country Club ($18,500), Snow Valley Nordic Ski Club ($15,000), the Terrace Off Road Cycling Association ($7,500), Terrace’s 100 Years Celebration Committee ($4,400), Northwest Science and Innovation Fair ($1,500), the Skeena Valley Fall Fair ($1,500) and the City of Terrace Community Foundation ($9,600).

Ferry Island ($1,500) and the Terrace Curling Association ($30,000) were denied.

Community Grants went to Volunteer Terrace ($10,000), Caledonia Dry Grad ($2,020), Bread of Life Soup Kitchen ($1,000), Green Thumb Garden Society ($4,400), Terrace and District Arts Council ($22,500), Provincial Net-Working litter clean-up ($23,972), Terrace and District Christian Council ($5,000), and Kermode Friendship Society ($5,000).

Turned down for Community Grants were Caledonia Dry Grad-Prom ($1,485), Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation ($10,000), Totem Saddle Club ($30,000), Skeena Valley Horse Association ($5,000), Skeena District 4-H Council ($500), Terrace’s 100 year Celebration Committee ($4,375), Crimestoppers ($500), and Ksan ($10,000).