Fort St. John City Council held a Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday and a number of organizations made requests for base grant funding.
First up was the Stage North Theatre Society who is requesting a $15,000 increase in its funding on top of the $2,500 the Society is already receiving from the city. They are asking for these funds to help assist them with renting the facility where they build sets, store props and stage rehearsals. Up until last year the Society was receiving $20,000 per year in funding from the B.C. Community Gaming Grants, but that number has since been cut to just $6,000.
The Fort St. John Community Arts council was also seeking funding. They also let council know that because of funding cuts, they were forced to lay off their former executive director Tara O’Donnell. The Arts Council is requesting $31,500 in funding for a number of different projects, including the Flower Pot Project and the High on Ice festival. The Arts Council has also seen a dramatic reduction in funding from the gaming grants.
The North Peace Justice Society was requesting $60,000 to cover its operating expenses for the year. The Justice Society works with the RCMP and Crown Council to provide alternative measures for first time offenders. During the last year they have worked with over 85 victims and 55 offenders. The Society monitors offenders until they have completed their contracts.
Both the Fort St. John Literacy Program and Women’s Resource Society were seeking an increase in the amount of bus passes they receive each year from the City. The Fort St. John Lion’s Club was asking for the City to renew its committment to provide free ice rental for its Youth Jam Can Curling event.
There will be two more Committee of the Whole meetings to help deal with base grant funding requests. They will be held on Oct. 25 and Nov. 2. City Council hopes to deal with the requests by the end of the year.