Nelson city council is thinking about handling its Columbia Basin Trust grants in a different manner.

Nelson city council clarifies grant criteria

Community organizations will be asked to consider the City’s planning policies when applying for next year’s Columbia Basin Trust grants.

Community organizations will be asked to consider the City’s planning policies when applying for next year’s Columbia Basin Trust community initiatives and affected areas program grants.

The recommendation was passed at a city council meeting this month following a lengthy conversation at the committee of the whole meeting in September.

Councillors Donna Macdonald and Deb Kozak both mentioned they like the concepts presented by city staff, but don’t want the process to become a burden to applicants.

“We don’t want to stifle ideas,” said Kozak. “Some of the best ideas come from outside of the box.”

Over the last couple years city staff suggested to council that the process for selecting successful applicants be reviewed.

“Early this year we said let’s bring it back in September and talk about it then,” said Macdonald after last month’s committee of the whole meeting.

“There also needed to be some conversations with the Trust and the regional district, who administer the program for the Trust, to make sure what we want to do can be accommodated in their processes.”

City staff presented options to council this month.

The three options included: maintaining the status quo, changing the process for 2013, or changing the process in 2013 and reviewing the outcomes before 2014.

City manager Kevin Cormack said it should be important in the selection process that council consider the City’s four pillars of sustainability: environment, social, culture and economy.

“I think the notion of trying to keep our various planning documents as living documents that people use when developing grant proposals is a good one,” said Macdonald. “We just need to make sure that it is fairly simple and not adding an additional burden on volunteers as they are filling out their applications. We also want to look at whether there is some way to bring community opinion into the process.”

Salmo introduced what is sometimes referred to as a dot-ocracy, where residents are allocated dots to vote for proposals they want grants given to.

But many councillors felt the Salmo model wouldn’t work for Nelson, and staff should look at other ways to include public input.

“I don’t think the dot-ocracy works very well in a city this size. It works okay in a smaller community,” said Macdonald. “Then again, as mentioned, all of these plans we’ve developed had a lot of public input into them and if we are simply advancing those plans then I think we are working with the support of the community through the development of those plans.”

Part of the grant allocation process has included 35 per cent to the arts, culture and heritage sector.

Concerns emerged around how this money would be distributed in the future.

“The City tasked the Cultural Development Commission to adjudicate all those applications,” said Macdonald. “The commission did that with the help of a volunteer jury of professionals from the community. They spent a day working on that.”

Macdonald felt this was a very successful approach because it brought local expertise into the process.

“The reason we went about establishing that 35 per cent minimum was to assist the commission in its work to develop the cultural sector as something that benefits our quality of life and is an economic development generator,” she said.

But unfortunately, Macdonald said the jury process wasn’t as successful this year and the commission was left unhappy with the disregard they felt council gave their recommendations.

During the meeting, Dooley said it was the prerogative of council to make decisions they felt were in the best interests of the community, regardless of the recommendations from the jury.

 

Council agreed the jury should continue to give recommendations to council in the future around arts, culture and heritage proposals.

 

 

Just Posted

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmore Junction

LETTERS: In support of student climate strikers

From readers Tia Leschke and Sharon Inkpen

Kootenay Musical Theatre Society ready to make a deal with the Devil

The new group will put on an original show in October at the Capitol Theatre

Nelson councillor starts national municipal climate group

Climate Leadership Caucus has 57 members including seven mayors

RDCK to purchase portion of lands around Cottonwood Lake

21.6 hectares will be purchased for $450,000

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Rural Kootenay communities to receive high-speed internet upgrade

The provincial government is increasing internet connectivity to rural British Columbia

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Most Read