by Sylene Argent
In support of developing a strong and thriving community, annually the Finance Committee receives applications from various community organizations that are hopeful to receive Community Partnership Fund dollars. During the April 3 Essex Council meeting, Council received and supported funding over $92,500 for community organizations in their quests to provide a variety of programs and services.
Every year, $100,000 is put aside for the Community Partnership Fund .
As part of committed annual donations, Co-An Park received $17,500 and Heritage Essex, which maintains the Essex Railway Station, will receive $25,000.
Essex Community Services requested $25,160.00. It received $20,160.00, which included a waiver of fees for its Chili Cook-Off in the amount of $160.00.
Essex Retirees’ Social Club received $8,858.00. ACCESS Community support received $5,243.20 of the requested $9,201.00.
The Harrow Early Immigrant Research Society will receive $1,500.00. The Harrow Electric Eels will receive $810.00 that will cover insurance costs. The Kingsville-Essex Associated Band will receive $7,500.00, which had originally requested $10,000.00. The local marching band’s application requested a $7,000 cash grant and $3,000 to waive fees.
The Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village will receive $5,000.00 through the Ad-Hoc portion of the grant program. In 2016, through the same program, Council moved that the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village be funded $5,000 in 2016, 2017, and 2018. The organization had asked for $25,000 per year, beginning in 2016. The Finance Committee had recommended to Council $5,000 per year over the three-year term.
Through the Essex Community Partnership Fund, $1,000.00 was again set aside to be forwarded to support an area in need for disaster relieve, if the occasion should arise.
The Finance Committee also requested that Council approve that the maximum grant forwarded to an organization from the sum of all Council Discretionary Funds be $2800, also supported revisions to the Council Discretionary Fund Policy, and further that the maximum grant paid from an individual Council Member’s Discretionary Fund be determined by the whole of Council.
Each budget process, Council determines the amount of dollars to be placed in the Council Discretionary Fund. These funds are divided equally amongst members of Council and are available for distribution by members of Council upon final approval of the operating budget.
During the meeting on April 3, Councillor Bill Caixeiro said one issue the Finance Committee could not come to an agreement on was the maximum amount of funding that could be put towards any one organization in a given year. Originally, it was set at $500, but was eliminated. Now, the discussion surrounded putting a limit back in place.
Councillor Steve Bjorkman put a motion forward that the max be $1000 through the Council Discretionary Fund by a member of Council to a group, which Council supported. Caixeiro wanted it to be $500.
In 2016, each Councillor had $2500 to spend out of this fund to support community causes or organizations.
Council also received and supported the Finance Committee’s request that the costs for advertising ($1,000.00), posters and flyers ($500.00), insurance liability ($500.00), stage setup ($200.00), porta johns (cost to be determined), and the kids’ area ($100.00), be reimbursed to the Essex Rocks and Rolls Car Show Committee from the Essex Tourism Development Fund upon providing receipts for such expenditures.
During the meeting, Councillor Caixeiro said the intent was not to specify certain amounts for each of those areas, but that the limit was determined to be $3,000. The items mentioned were the ones he said the Finance Committee felt appropriate to cover.
The Essex Rocks and Rolls Car and Motorcycle Cruise In is planned to take place in the Heritage Gardens Park on May 26.
Mayor Ron McDermott, Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche, and Councillors Steve Bjorkman and Bill Caixeiro sit on the Finance Committee.