Third party grants finalized

Concern for Youth request nixed

North Battleford city council has given its final approval to third party grants for 2020.

Determining the final allocation of third-party grants was the final piece of business left over from the 2020 budget, which had been adopted at the Jan. 13 meeting.

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Council had previously agreed to cap the amount of discretionary third-party grants at $69,000. The only question was on the allocations to the various organizations.

The original proposal from Jan. 13 called for discretionary third-party grants to be awarded to Battlefords Boys and Girls Club for $25,000, Catholic Family Services for $2,500, Empty Stocking Fund for $6,500, Citizens on Patrol for $1,000, Battlefords and Area Sexual Assault Centre for $9,000 and the Lighthouse for $25,000.

One of the organizations losing out would have been Concern for Youth, whose request for $20,000 was not included in the budget. That did not sit well with Councillor Kent Lindgren, who put forward a motion that would have provided some funding to the organization.

His original motion from Jan. 13 would have shifted $3,500 in funding to Concern for Youth, while at the same time reducing the allocations for the Battlefords Empty Stocking Fund and the Sexual Assault Centre by $500 and also removing completely the allocation for Catholic Family Services.

But that motion was tabled to the Jan. 27 meeting. At council Monday, Lindgren proposed further changes to his original motion.

He presented an amendment that would have still shifted $3,500 to Concern for Youth, while allocating $1,000 for Catholic Family Services and reducing funding by $500 from the Lighthouse, the Battlefords and Area Sexual Assault Centre, Empty Stocking Fund and Battlefords Boys and Girls Club.

But Lindgren’s latest motion went nowhere, as there was no seconder. Council then voted on Lindgren’s original motion that had been tabled from Jan. 13. That went down to defeat by a 5-1 margin, with Lindgren the only vote in favour.

That left the vote to adopt the third-party grant allocation as it was originally proposed at the Jan. 13 meeting. That also carried by a 5-1 margin. Lindgren was the lone “no” vote.

In speaking to reporters Councillor Kelli Hawtin, who chaired the meeting in place of Mayor Ryan Bater who was away on city business, acknowledged the process was a difficult one.

“At the end of the day there’s a lot of needs in the community and it’s difficult to address them all,” said Hawtin. “Council made the decision in the best way that they could.”

There were some other budget-related votes Monday. Three bylaws were passed to amend the waterworks system bylaw, the sewage system bylaw and the rates for collection and removal of resident household waste and recyclable materials. All three   reflected a two-per cent increase in rates for water, sewer and waste/recycling collection that was approved in the budget. The bylaws all passed unanimously.



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