Community group grants up and down

Oak Bay estimates committee doles out cash to non-profits

Do your homework. That’s the message from Oak Bay’s municipal estimates committee to community groups looking for municipal grants.

Maritime Museum of B.C.’s request for $2,500 was turned down because the non-profit group had not provided sufficient additional detail in its application to the committee that doles out grants each year to community groups. Although $2,500 was approved for the DeMezey Memorial Abbeyfield Legacy Society, the committee agreed the society would be asked to identify a specific project for the funds.

The seven-member estimates committee met three days over a three-week period in March and April to approve departmental budgets and to divvy up funds to community groups. Newly formed Friends of Uplands Park received its requested amount of $1,000.

Margaret Lidkea of Friends of Uplands Park hadn’t heard about the approval until contacted by Oak Bay News this week.

“It feels really good,” she said about the grant. “I feel honoured that they support and acknowledge the impact of volunteers (who work in the park.”)

The Community Association of Oak Bay received only $1,000 of its request for $11,500. Oak Bay Volunteer Services Society received $20,000, down from its requested amount of $26,000. Oak Bay’s child and youth committee budget was reduced from $500 to $100, while the environment advisory and active transportation committees increased from $1,000 each to $1,200 each. The estimates committee also approved small grants to regional groups such as the Bowker Creek Initiative for a pennant printing workshop ($500), and to the Vancouver Island Film and Media Commission ($3,000) and St. John Ambulance ($600).

Oak Bay’s gross 2012 budget is $31,582,000.