Merrickville-Wolford council voted at their last meeting not to allocate the money left over from last year’s Communities in Bloom competition directly towards this year’s initiative.
Merrickville-Wolford in Bloom presented council with a package with many letters of support from different organizations in the community, including the Merrickville and District Chamber of Commerce, Merrickville Jazz Fest, and the Legion. They also provided quotes from different municipalities across the country which have seen how much the Communities in Bloom competition has benefited their communities. “The Communities in Bloom program has enhanced a sense of community pride in Millet,” writes the Mayor of that town in Alberta. “We are a better community due to Communities in Bloom.”
The group also presented council with a detailed budget, and told them that the money from last year will go directly to the beautification of the hamlets and surrounding area. “It is our hope that council can recognize what our committee members are trying to accomplish, and not rescind our 2017 funding, as this will result in our diverting significant volunteer time and effort towards fundraising, rather than our mandated and planned community improvement projects,” said a letter from the Merrickville-Wolford in Bloom committee to council.
Despite the Committee’s best efforts, it was decided that the money should be placed into reserves to be allocated where it is needed most. This is in accord with a bylaw that has been passed to put any unused monies into reserves. Councillor Chuck MacInnis suggested at the meeting that the Merrickville-Wolford in Bloom committee work with the Municipality to see which of their projects are already being covered in the 2018 budget. “It’s not lost money, it’s just following our process,” he said.