Village of Clive council decided they will give their community groups a chance to benefit from a provincial and federal government COVID-19 support program.
This decision was made at the Nov. 9 regular meeting of council.
Over the past few weeks, the provincial and federal governments have been notifying municipalities of the Municipal Operating Support Transfer (MOST), a grant program intended to offset lost revenue due to the pandemic.
According to the provincial government’s website, grant amounts are based on a municipality’s population.
Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Carla Kenney provided councillors with a report on Clive’s MOST allotment.
She stated Clive’s population means the village will receive about $70,000 from the program.
Kenney said the village’s lost revenue due to the pandemic mostly comes from lost tax penalties, buying personal protective equipment and increased communications costs.
The CAO went on to say the village’s expenses would likely add up to about $10,000, leaving up to $60,000 available, and she asked the councillors if they would like to share the grant with non-profit or community groups that also suffered because of the pandemic.
Coun. Jeremy Whelan stated he’d like to see the Ag Society receive some support, as the pandemic has greatly affected their operations.
Kenney suggested the MOST funds could be handled in a manner similar to Family and Community Support Services grants, where organizations submit an application explaining how the pandemic has affected them.
Coun. Norma Penney stated a vetting process would be useful to determine which groups have been most affected by the pandemic.
She noted councillors should remember some groups have received their own financial assistance from the government as well.
Coun. Tracey Hallman agreed.
Mayor Luci Henry stated if an application process was preferred, then criteria are needed too.
Coun. Whelan stated he felt the funding should go to groups which not only suffered from the pandemic but also offer the greatest help or services to the community.
Councillors unanimously approved village staff developing an application process for local groups affected by the pandemic to access the MOST funds.
Staff will return to council with the proposed process at a future meeting.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter