Sooke Council met on Wednesday, March 22 to discuss Community Grant Applications.
Four elected officials were present: Councillors Ebony Logins, Kerry Reay and Bev Berger, and Mayor Tait.
Three elected officials were absent: Councillors Brenda Parkinson, Kevin Pearson and Rick Kasper.
Note: These numbers are not the final record. The final numbers are those that are approved and published by the District of Sooke. Mics were occasionally not activated.
According to the 2017 Community Grant Budget Deliberations Spreadsheet, the total community “ask” was for $72,160.19. There were a total of 18 presentations on Wednesday evening. Funding in the 2017 Budget is $50,000. If that amount is exceeded, the funds can come from the Council Contingency (about $26,000) and/or increasing taxes. Reay was not prepared to exceed the $50,000. Options can be to support a full amount, a partial amount, or not at all.
- The total amount of Community Grants awarded was $48,536
- The Sooke Legion will receive $10,000 (the maximum application amount is $7,000, but it can be increased with unanimous consent)
- The Sooke Food Bank’s application was denied as a Community Grant (travel can’t be funded) but was funded separately (with conditions) from Council’s Contingency fund
- Unsuccessful applicants (receiving no funds) included the Bike to Work (no Sooke Celebration Station), DRS Dialogue and Resolution Service (provincial downloading), and the Sooke Bike Park club (should apply through SEAPARC).
- Everyone else received either full or partial funds. Summaries are below.
Meals on Wheels application: This groups delivers about 4,800 meals every year, and has 56 Volunteers. They haven’t previously received funding from the District of Sooke. Ask is for $5,000.
- Result: $2,700
- This amount which will meet their fund to balance their budget.
EMCS Student Bus Art application: New transit shelters were provided by BC Transit but are owned by Sooke. They have previously received funding from the District, and were asking for $1,210.19. Funds are matched by the EMCS Arts program.
- Result: $1,211.
- Later discussion will follow about making this a regular line item in the District’s budget.
Sooke Elderly Citizens’ Housing Society Application: Asking for $4,000 for a garden for the residents, and their parking area. They have previously received funding from the District. Ayre Manor opened two hospice beds but lost two complex care beds.
- Result: $4,000
Fall Fair application: Asking for $2,000. They have previously received funding, and are asking for money for tents for the Fall Fair, for the larger animals. These tents would be multi-use, to be shared with (ie, made available to) other local organizations.
- Result: $2,000
Sooke Philharmonic application: Asking for $5,000. Previously received funds from the District of Sooke. SPO is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary. They showed a three minute video that was not viewable to online viewers.
- Result: $2,375
- They are already receiving $5,000 for Spring Fling. Reay was not in support of the full amount. $2,375 puts them at break even.
Bike to Work Week application: Asking for $500, to go towards teams. They have previously received $300 from the District. Measurable health and air benefits. Roughly 1% of Victoria’s participants are from Sooke.
- Result: $0
- Because there’s no Celebration Station in Sooke, it would supporting a station is West Shore.
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 54 Sooke application: Asking for $10,000. No funding previously received from the District. A few major renovations need to be done, and in order to paint the building, the Legion needs to get a clean and scrape done of the outside of the building. Right now, they really are scrambling. Hicks has confirmed $1,000 from the CRD. They are aiming to have the painting done by this summer, if at all possible.
- Result: $10,000
- There is a $7,000 cap, but can be extended if all approve; all approved.
Sooke Music Festival application: Asking for $5,000 to help pay for the talent at the Festival. They have not received funding previously. This is a free family music festival, that donates their profits to various causes within the community. They aspire to grow it into a destination festival. August 12. Last year, they set aside just over $600.
- Result: $3,000
Juan de Fuca Marine SAR application: Asking for $7,000. Volunteer driven. They are funded primarily by the BC Gaming grant (70%) and Coast Guard, and donations from the community.
- Result: $500
- Reay and Berger were not prepared to support them, they are not showing a deficit; they appear to be doing OK.
- Logins proposed $500 requested for recruitment.
Juan de Fuca Ground SAR application: Asking for $4,000. No funding has been previously received from the District. They are volunteer driven. Volunteers must purchase their own gear, which costs about $1,000 per volunteer. Currently looking to fund mid-weight layer wool jacket (with logo) for all volunteers. They have about 25 to 30 searches per year, Sooke Hills and Potholes, along with JdF Trail. Currently have about 50 active members.
- Result: $2,500
DRS Dialogue and Resolution Services application: Asking for $2,400. Victoria company serving CRD and Sooke. They provide affordable mediation, arbitration, conflict resolution, as per BC Family Law. They offer a supported Family Mediation program for complex conflict needs, for families with very little money. Families receive eight hours of free mediation if referred by an agency, no wait list. This will allow them to serve five more families in Sooke; last year they served eight.
- Result: $0
- Reay noted that this is predominantly downloading of costs from provincial to municipal, she did not support it. Berger agreed with Reay.
- Tait said a District letter will be sent will be sent to the province to MCFD and AG.
Sooke Baptist Church application: Asking for $7,000 for the Sooke Garden project, a project open to everyone in the community. No funding has been previously received from the District. Currently they have 20 volunteers. Their focus is natural gardening, using non-GMO seeds. Funds ($4,800) would to toward protective fencing, with remainder to go towards irrigation system ($4,800). This project is not like Sunriver Garden in that nothing will be owned, and the food produced can go to those in need.
- Result: $6,000
- Funds for fencing were approved; the District cannot give funds for things that have been already purchased.
- Logins will support it but called it irresponsible and unsustainable; but, she has faith that it will work out. She wants them to get their finances in order. Logins said it looked like they skipped the step to seek out seed funding.
Sooke Food Bank application: Asking for $700 to go to the Canadian Food Bank Conference, to network and learn how to build a building for the Food Bank. They cannot apply for new funding for equipment, as they have no where to put new equipment.
- GRANT Result: $0
- Policy is very clear, that transportation/travel costs are not covered. If the Food Bank applies in front of Council, the money could come from contingency and this limitation would not apply.
- Out of Contingency (not as a grant, made as a separate motion) Result: $700, with a request for a follow-up delegation.
Sooke Bike Club application: Asking for $2,000. Some funds have been previously received from the District. The collaborate with Sooke, CRD and local schools to advocate biking, encourage all riders of all ages to get out and bike.
- Result: $0
- With a recommendation that it go in front of SEAPARC.
Sooke Harbour Players application: Asking for $6,000 to help with production costs (some for capital, some for rental). Some funds have been previously received from the District. EMCS costs up to $6,500, mostly for after-hours custodial services, as per CUPE regulations; rights and licenses cost about $5,000. Two shows planned this year, one has a cast of seven, the other has a cast of 40. They are aiming to get more “bums in seats” possibly by charging less for admission, around $15 instead of the former $20.
- Result: $4,500
- This amount would cover their deficit.
Harmony Project application: Asking for $7,000. Previously they have received funding from the District, which bought 10 string instruments. Currently they are doing strings and drumming classes. They are going into their second year, and the students need larger instruments. They are looking to buy more string instruments for the growing student.
- Result: $7,000
Zero Waste Sooke application: Asking for $750. Previously have received funding from the District. Looking for support to fund events including two repair cafes, an Earth Day cleanup, and a compost education session.
- Result: $750
Sooke Community Choir application: Asking for $2,500 to buy sheet music to keep their performances “fresh and alive.” Previously received funding from the District. In a performance, there are about 14 or 15 pieces. Every piece of music purchased costs $150 to $450. Shortfalls will be covered by shortfall events.
- Result: $2,000
- Frequent flyer (they have been in front of Council a lot, asking for funds); Reay wanted to avoid the impression that if you ask Council for money, you will always get it.