City of Powell River council weighs Powell River Community Forest grants

City to decide on over $1 million in funding for non-profits

Powell River’s non-profit societies will have to wait a while longer to find out the official decision on their Powell River Community Forest fund grant applications.

Corien Becker, City of Powell River interim chief financial officer, provided council with a verbal report at its Thursday, March 31, finance committee meeting, detailing the status of 17 grant applications and the projects being recommended by the Powell River Community Forest board. Out of the applications filed, 13 are being recommended and four are not.

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“It seems a bit drawn out, but it’s just the process,” said councillor Russell Brewer, finance committee chair.

Brewer said he expects a written report on the board’s recommendations to be discussed at the city’s committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, April 19, and then go to a council vote at the first meeting in May.

Brewer said the city’s 2015 community forest dividend is approximately $1.3 million. The community forest board is recommending just under $900,000 of funding for community projects in this round of grants, which are usually awarded twice per year.

Brewer said the finance committee was given a verbal report because the city still has questions about some of the projects.

Even though the community forest board recommends projects for the funding, Brewer said the city has the final say on which grants are awarded.

The city is the sole shareholder of the forestry corporation and the dividend is paid into the city’s community forest reserve, funds only accessible through city council’s approval, said Becker.

The community forest board has taken an active role in soliciting requests from the community for worthy projects, said Becker.

“They put a lot of effort into reviewing the applications and working with applicants to ensure the projects are sound,” she added.

Council has generally agreed with all the work the board has done and its recommendations, she explained, but council has its own process for “due diligence and public process for open and transparent government.”

“That’s why the recommendations are going forward to a committee meeting, so council can say they have looked at everything, all the recommendations, and that they agree or not,” said Becker.

Of the $1,091,642 in requests, the forest board is recommending city council approve $872,918 for projects.

The projects recommended are:

$167,223 to Powell River Climbing Co-op for construction of an indoor rock-climbing gym.

$156,200 to Family and Resident Council of Evergreen Extended Care Unit for facility renovations.

$124,700 to City of Powell River planning department for development of a new park at Marine Avenue and Alberni Street.

$119,449 to Sunshine Music Festival Society for a permanent bandstand structure at Palm Beach Regional Park.

$94,767 to Powell River Fine Arts Club for building upgrades.

$50,000 to City of Powell River department of parks, recreation and culture for the Logger Sports event at Willingdon Beach Park.

$49,650 to Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society for the replacement of Confederation Lake cabin and new outhouse for Sunshine Coast Trail.

$40,000 to Powell River Sunrise Rotary Club for senior/adult exercise equipment at Willingdon Beach Park.

$40,000 to Powell River Regional District Emergency Services Program for the construction of a forest fire structural-protection unit.

$14,154 to Powell River Search and Rescue Society for the purchase of wet-weather parkas for volunteer members.

$10,000 to City of Powell River department of parks, recreation and culture for a Powell River Track and Field sign.

$5,275 to Powell River Historical Museum and Archives Association for the relocation of the Anderson sawmill to Powell River.

$1,500 to Powell River Forest Heritage Society for the development of the Santa train at Paradise Exhibition Park.

Projects not being recommended in this intake are:

$160,000 to Inclusion Powell River Society for the ARC Community Theatre.

$20,800 to City of Powell River department of parks, recreation and culture for spin bikes.

$19,373 to Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy for its Evergreen Concert Series.

$18,000 to the City of Powell River department of parks, recreation and culture for a Wibit Aqua Track.

Copyright © Powell River Peak

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