The Town of Strathmore will be deliberating several funding requests from local community groups, prior to the beginning of 2024 budget discussions.
Presentations were heard by the Committee of the Whole, Oct. 25. In 2022, the town changed its budget processes to host a community delegation night to hear requests prior to the start of the greater budget.
This move was made in order to better inform the town’s budget on any given year and streamline the process for groups getting approved. This also gives the town a better idea of how much it will be spending to support various local groups and organizations.
In 2023, more than $800,000 was provided to more than 20 different community groups throughout Strathmore.
Community groups requesting funding from the town were required to state the type of program or service they will be delivering, what the funds will be used for, and the dates of programs or services that will be delivered.
Groups were also asked to identify the number of persons who may be participating in the programs or receiving services, and to explain why their case is important and unique from any other similar groups or services already provided within the local region.
Further, financial statements were required from applicant organizations, their budgets, as well as any additional information which may have been relevant to their applications.
A total of 10 different community groups presented before council during the community delegation night. No decisions regarding who would receive funding were finalized during the meeting.
Town administration will bring back the requests into the 2024 budget deliberations at a later meeting of council.
STARS were the first organization to appear before council during the meeting to request $14,339 to support their operations throughout 2024. STARS performs emergency rescue and lifesaving operations for those in need of immediate care and transport to the nearest hospital. This year’s request is $4,339 greater than last year.
The Strathmore Municipal Library Board requested $407,056 from council, an increase of $65,806 from last year. The funding would be used to staff the library, support library programs and research, as well as for community partnerships and collaborations throughout the year.
Wheatland Society of Arts once again requested $40,000 from council, exactly the same as last year in order to continue keeping the doors open, and to provide affordable arts programming within the community.
The Growing Families Society made two funding requests to council, on behalf of 5 for Life, for $10,000, and Bridging the Gap, for $18,100. This funding would be utilized in order to continue programming such as Mother Goose in the Park for supporting early childhood development within Strathmore. The Growing Families Society did not receive approved funding from council last year.
Strathmore Musical Arts Society requested $12,000 of council, from having not received approved funding last year, in order to facilitate the ability to keep spectator prices to view and support programs down.
True North, formerly the Wheatland Crisis Society, which did not receive approved funding from council last year, requested $318,376 to assist with the construction of 37 affordable apartments for individuals and families fleeing domestic violence. It is also noted that other levels of government are apparently more willing to fund endeavors such as this when the local municipal government has also provided some support.
The Strathmore and District Agricultural Society has once again requested $10,000 from council for the operation of the Celebration of Lights during the holiday season. This request is for the same amount of approved funding which was received last year.
The Strathmore and Wheatland County Christmas Hamper Society requested $5,000, the same as last year’s funding to support the purchase of food such as turkeys to fill the hampers for clients.
Strathmore Overnight Shelter Society requested $50,000, an increase of $40,000 over last year, to accommodate additional staffing at the shelter for both client and staff safety purposes, as well as to support food, utility, and shelter operational expenses.
The Kakato’si Ayoungman Foundation submitted a request to council for an unspecified funding amount in order to support the idea of a 2024 Lead By Example Powwow. In 2023, $10,000 was budgeted for the event, which was its inaugural celebration at the Strathmore Motor Products Sports Centre. The Foundation is aiming to be able to make the powwow an annual event in Strathmore.
Communities in Bloom and the Strathmore and Area Inclusive Friends, which had each made funding requests in 2023, did not apply for further support from council in 2024.
By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Nov 01, 2023 at 15:18