Town council hands out $30,000 in grants to six community groups

 

Town hall summerBy Ron Giofu

 

Town council was in agreement to hand out $30,000 to six local community groups, with the only debate being how the money would be apportioned.

In the end, council adopted a motion put forth by Deputy Mayor Ron Sutherland that council give $1,500 to the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission, $5,000 to Amherstburg Community Services (ACS), $4,000 to the Windsor Symphony Orchestra (WSO) and $6,500 each for the Amherstburg Historic Sites Association, House of Shalom Youth Centre and North American Black Historical Museum (NABHM).

Those figures were based on a recommendation put forth by Councillor Diane Pouget, who believed her figures were closer to what the groups requested and still kept in line with the $30,000 figure the town had budgeted for. According to a report from manager of financial services Wendy Dade, the mission asked for $1,500, ACS asked for $5,000, the Amherstburg Historical Sites Association requested $6,500, the NABHM and House of Shalom each requested $7,000 while the Windsor Symphony requested $5,000.

The town rejected an administrative recommendation to give equal $4,000 grants to each while leaving a “buffer” for future requests. Chief Administrative Officer Mike Phipps said the buffer allows for “one-off” requests that may come up and encouraged council to revisit its grants policy.

Mayor Wayne Hurst noted that council had made a decision during budget deliberations while Councillor Carolyn Davies also questioned why the recommendation strayed from the budget.

“We made the decision,” said Davies. “I think we should stick to it.”

Davies said the community groups enhance the quality of life for both Amherstburg residents and visitors.

“This is a small amount compared to other areas where we could be cutting back,” she stated.

Pillon recalled a “large debate” at budget time believed the town should give the groups the same as what they received in 2013.

Councillor John Sutton declared a conflict of interest on the matter as he is executive director of the House of Shalom Youth Centre. Councillor Bart DiPasquale also declared conflict, as he is on the board of directors with the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

 

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