The Whiskey Jack Nordic Ski Club is asking for a renewal of its $1,500 grant for grooming of its ski trails. Grooming at the Links Golf Course costs $750 to insure the sled, $250 for fuel and up to $500 a year for sled maintenance. Without the City's funding, the Club says it would have to find sponsors or be forced to shut down.
The Ski Club faces difficulty bringing in revenue as many people use the trails without paying memberships fees (a weekly average of 25 non-members), which are $60 for an individual, $100 for a couple and $20/25 for children/students. Its approximately 85 members are expected to bring in $4,000 of revenue next year, covering a minor part of its expenses, which were about $20,000 last year.
The majority of its funding comes from the Peace River Regional District, which has promised $13,000 for 2011/2012. This year's expenses will be exponentially higher as they are planning an $80,000 trail expansion project.
Mayor Lantz suggested offering its services to rural property owners who may want trails on their land, adding "depending on the price, I would consider it for my property."
The newly formed Fort St. John Skateboard Park Committee is asking the City for $40,000 towards the first two phases of building the new skate park. Co-chair Adam Kirschner says it is important for the Committee to get this grant so they can secure the services of design-build company Newline Skateparks. The Committee can't take any in-kind donations until they are involved.
The first two phases of the project include community consultation and fundraising as well as completing the design. That part will cost $54,050 of the $600,000 estimated total cost.
The Peace River Zone Theatre Festival is asking for a $1,000 sponsorship of next year's festival. The funding will go towards workshops at the festival as well as the cost of an adjudicator.
The annual event brings an judge to choose a winning play from a selection of theatre groups. The cost of bringing the adjudicator is estimated at $4,450. If the Festival were to receive this funding from the City, it would not seek additional funding from the Fort St. John Arts Council, which the City itself funds.
The North Peace Spinners & Weavers Guild is asking City Council for $3,000 to offset the cost of its workshops. It argues the cost of bringing a teacher to the Guild is much more cost effective than travelling outside of the city. Many of its members are also elderly and unable to travel. With the grant, the cost of bringing a Master Teacher to participants would be brought down to $152 each.
The Tourism Fort St. John Board is asking for a renewal of its $46,000 grant. The majority of its budget ($30,000) will go towards the second phase of the Alaska Highway Interpretive Planning project. This phase will involve sorting through the data collected in the first phase, to create a priority list of artifacts and stories for interpretive displays around Fort St. John.
Lastly, the North Peace Cultural Society is asking for an increase to its grant, from $250,000 to $300,000. It is considering the extra $50,000 as an investment, including $20,000 towards creating a Community Box Office. Its priorities for 2012 also include replacing the North Peace Cultural Centre's theatre carpeting as well as its ladder with a Genie lift, installing a marquee outside, and fixing and replacing lighting throughout the building.
In addition to the $250,000 grant it has been receiving since 2007, City Manager Dianne Hunter points out the City also pays its $365,000 mortgage, provides it with a tax exemption of over $124,000, and pays for its over $14,000 insurance. The Society receives $107,700 in rent from the Library, well as a $42,000 grant from the Regional District Electoral Districts B and C, and $14,000 from Taylor, which is reimbursed by Fort St. John.
18 local organizations are requesting funding from the City for 2012, totalling $929,552, an increase of $152,706 from last year. They will find out if their application has been approved in January.