City approves $700,000 in base budget grants

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

The Fort St. John Community Arts Council requested $20,000 in funding this year, which was an increase of $5,000 over last year’s request due to increasing requests for support. However, council chose to continue its support to the tune of $15,000, in addition to its estimated $8,000 permissive tax exemption. 

The Fort St. John Library is also receiving the same amount as in 2013, despite its request for an additional $20,000 grant to upgrade technology. It will receive $380,000, and has been recommended to look to the Peace River Regional District for additional funding. 

The Women’s Resource Society has had $7,475 approved for its bus pass program, the same as last year, which has given free bus passes to low-income mothers and their children for two years now. The FSJ WRS did not submit an application for a permissive tax exemption for 2014. 

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The North Peace Cultural Centre requested $250,000 in funding to offset operating costs, which it also received in 2013. However, as the City has a goal of decreasing grant allocations for operating expenses to 20 per cent of an organization’s total revenue over five years, the grant was reduced to just more than $216,500. 

The North Peace Historical Society was looking for an extra $2,000 to hire a second staff member for educational programming, but that was also denied. It will receive $10,000 for its operating costs, including the North Peace Museum, which has a permissive tax exemption around $55,000. 

The North Peace Justice Society will also receive less than its request for $25,000 due to the five-year reduction in grants for operating costs. The difference isn’t much though, as it’s been allocated slightly more than $24,200. 

The North Peace SPCA has had its request for $15,000 for the spay and neuter program approved. Once the City enters into a Poundkeeper agreement, this program will likely be funding through that venue in the future. 

Lastly, Tourism Fort St. John has been awarded $36,000, which it was also awarded in 2013. It had requested an extra $10,000 for its tourism plan and other projects, which was denied. 

Last year $760,475 in grants were approved for nine organizations, after two were denied and one was deferred.

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