Council passed a resolution on Monday, February 12, to approve which community organizations would be receiving grants this year. The list came to council as recommended by a committee charged with taking in applications and deciding which organizations would benefit and how much grant money they would receive.
“We had a certain amount of money to play with,” says Mary-Kate Laphen, one of the members of the committee. They had $10,000 to dole out, plus $3,650 that was already earmarked for Merrickville-Wolford in Bloom.
To receive a grant, the community group had to fill out a form that gave some background about the organization, as well as what their plans were for spending the money they requested. If they received a grant in previous years, a post-project report was also required. Unfortunately, many groups who applied said they didn’t know that was needed, and therefore didn’t submit the report for the previous year. “So many people didn’t do it that we fell on the side of mercy,” says Mary Kate.
To keep this from happening again, and make the decision process run more smoothly in the future, the committee put forward a set of recommendations to be applied to next year’s round of applicants. “We want to make the decision process clearer for everyone,” Mary-Kate says.
The grant application will include a detailed description of what the money will be used for, as well as a report on the impact the grant had if the organization received it the previous year. Suggested criteria to be used when deciding who gets the grant money include alignment with the strategic plan, whether it is a new or ongoing initiative, location, and whether the initiative could become self sustaining down the road.
The groups that are receiving funding in the 2018 fiscal year are: The Lions Club for Canal Fest, Jazzfest, the Artists Guild, the Agricultural Society, Christmas in Merrickville, Merrickville Heritage Classic, Merrickville-Wolford in Bloom, and Friends of the Rideau. For a detailed list of how much will be given to each, check out the agenda of Monday February 12, 2018 on the Municipality’s website.
Although the list has been approved by council, the budget still needs to be passed before any of the money can be handed out.