Clive village council divided up funds granted from the provincial government intended to offset financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision was made during the regular meeting of council Jan. 11, held via Zoom to meet pandemic protocols.
Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Carla Kenney provided council with a report on community response to the provincial government’s Municipal Operating Support Transfer (MOST) grant that’s been offered to Alberta municipalities to offset COVID-19-related financial difficulties.
Clive previously decided it’s MOST grant would be large enough to also offer help within the community after village expenses were covered.
Kenney reported the village has spent about $21,000 addressing the pandemic and estimated the village would also incur about another $2,000 in the future.
Noting Clive’s MOST grant was just under $75,000, this would leave roughly $52,000 to divide among community groups which have also suffered at the hands of COVID-19.
After the village publicly advertised the opportunity, Kenney gave councillors a chart showing groups that responded and the amounts they reported losing as a result of COVID-19. In total, the groups claimed losses in the neighbourhood of $123,000.
The groups which responded included the Ag Society, community hall, curling club, figure skating club, Family & Community Support Services (FCSS), public library, minor hockey, Little Red Hen and the Morton Historic Centre.
Coun. Susan Russell stated she wasn’t sure how some of the groups calculated their losses, as the dollar amounts seemed a bit large in some cases.
However, Russell stated she felt in the interests of fairness it would be important to give something to each group.
Mayor Luci Henry noted village staff did speak with the groups to examine their claims and ensure everything was eligible for the MOST program.
Kenney noted lots of groups had lost revenue due to cancelled registrations as a result of the pandemic.
“I’m pretty confident these are realistic losses in revenue,” said Kenney.
Coun. Norma Penney asked if FCSS and the library were eligible for other provincial programs.
Kenney responded both organizations fit the MOST profile as they had financial losses due to COVID-19.
She added that Lacombe County also has MOST funds which they may or may not disperse to Clive organizations such as the Ag Society.
Penney suggested reimbursing organizations for personal protective equipment (PPE), then dividing the remaining funds among the groups.
Kenney estimated that after covering the losses each group claimed for purchasing PPE, the MOST funds would be able to cover about 38 per cent of their claimed financial losses.
The CAO noted each group would be asked to provide documentation illustrating their losses.
Councillors passed a motion authorizing the village to offer this help to the community.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter