The M.D. of Lesser Slave River did its final round of grants for 2023 to community groups at its Nov. 15 council meeting. All got at least some of what they asked for.

Council deals with such requests as the Community Assistance Board (CAB), with Councillor Brad Pearson taking over as chair.

The first order of business was to elect chair and vice chair for another year. Pearson got the job again, with Councillor Darren Fulmore as vice chair.

The CAB budget this year for community grants is $40,000. Of that, $5,255.37 was left to hand out. The board had three new requests to consider, totaling $8,363.75.

The Marten Beach Cottagers Society had requested $975 to help with the cost of beautifying the entrance area of the hamlet.

Smith Community Association had asked for $2,388.75 for something called ‘historic schools commemorative sign markers.’

The report says “each sign will have a photo of the school, land location, dates it was used, date the sign was erected and the name of the family/group” that donated the cost of the sign. Another possibility is a QR code for more historical information. Thirteen such historical school sites have been identified in the Smith/Hondo area.

The third request was from the South Shore Children’s Community Association, for $5,000 to help with operational expenses for its childcare facility in Widewater.

The board went in camera to discuss and debate the merits of each request. Back in open session, the following motions were made and carried:

Marten Beach Cottagers Society gets $985; Smith Community Association gets $1,78.37; South Shore Children’s Community Association gets $2,500, for programming.

Also dealt with by the CAB were requests from community groups for Family and Community Support Services grants.

The M.D. started off with $106,097.64 in this account for 2023 – 20 per cent of which comes from the M.D. and the rest from the province. Not all of that is available for grants, because the cost of operating the program has to come out of it.

Grants requested in the fourth quarter totaled $11,200, from three groups. Besides that, Aspen View Public Schools had an early request in for $32,648 for 2024 for its Smith School liaison position. This is about $3,000 higher than it requested (and got) for 2023.

Flatbush Nursery School requested $6,000 for its nursery school program. It has six kids signed up, council heard.

Flatbush Silver Threads asked for $1,200 for a Christmas volunteer appreciation event
The M.D.’s Agricultural Service Board requested $4,000 to help with the cost of its fall social.

Again, most of the discussion on these items took place behind closed doors. But before that, it came out that the cost of the fall social was more like $6,000, and since the M.D. has to cover it, one way or another, Pearson suggested adding $2,000 of the FCSS money to the grant. This is money that, if not spent in the calendar year, has to be returned to the province.

The board gave each group what it had requested, plus the $2,000 extra for the ASB. Adding the total to the $18,000 in administration costs should result in what Pearson called “zero carryover,” for the year.


This item copyrighted by / Lakeside Leaader   Slave Lake, Alberta

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