The city is readying to spend $30,000 more on community grants and services this year compared to last.
That amount is coming from two sections of city spending — one is for community grants and the other money it pays out for services delivered on its behalf.
At a budget meeting last Wednesday, Feb. 28, council upped grants by $14,500 more than was first recommended by staff going into budget talks, and $6,400 less to service providers.
If the budget becomes official as it’s written now, grants will have gone up by $11,500 and fees for service by $17,800 compared to last year.
And grant requests this year came in $44,800 higher than last, with service providers asking for $24,000 more.
“Given that we had an increased ask of about $50,000 more, [giving more money] doesn’t seem like much of an issue,” said councillor Bruce Bidgood at the meeting.
“Just be cognizant that the $10,000 isn’t a huge issue, it’s the (accumulated) $50,000 for continuing years,” said city finance director Ron Bowles.
For each $100,000 the city increases its overall budget, that translates to a one per cent tax increase.
For city grants, those who applied that made the cut include: Terrace Search and Rescue at $9,000; Volunteer Terrace at $7,500; the Skeena Valley Model Railroad Association at $685; Riverboat Days grant, insurance and fireworks at $15,500; city parade expenses at $4,700; facility rental for Caledonia Senior Secondary School dry grad and prom at $3,797; Terrace and District Arts Council at $22,500; Greater Terrace Beautification Society at $500; Bread of Life Soup Kitchen at $1,000; My Mountain Co-op at $15,000; Terrace Little Theatre Society at $4,200; the Green Thumb Garden Society at $4,100 and Terrace Emergency Social Services at $5,000.
Those who didn’t make the cut include: Terrace Downtown Improvement Area festivals at $5,000; the Northern Health Addiction Program at $6,000 for rent assistance; the Kermodei Friendship Society at $5,000, Ksan House Society at $8,000; and $6,700 for a new dance floor at R.E.M. Lee Theatre.
In the service section, council approved $6,400 less than was asked for from the Terrace Museum Society at $70,000.
But there’s an organization being set up now, intended to help with increasing community money needs, that will get a share of gaming revenue from the city.
The Terrace Community Foundation was set by staff to get a $10,000 grant, but council freed up that money for others by pinning a percentage of gaming revenue to it instead.
The foundation will get $10,000 yearly from that, or a percentage of the surplus, whichever is higher.
Once the foundation is ready, interest off the principle amount in its account will go towards more community grants — intended to increase what’s available now.