February 13th, 2018 by

Community grant approvals leave councillors at odds in The County

It was a meeting that left some councillors in Prince Edward County with a sour taste in their mouth.

At their meeting on Tuesday night, council was looking to approve this year’s community grant requests.

Right from the start it was evident the debate would be long and passionate as there were 18 total requests totaling over $512,797, but just over $291,000 was available.

Council undertook a new process to approve the requests which left many around the horseshoe repeatedly asking for clarification on the process.

Three applications were axed right away including County FM, a request from the National Air Force Museum of Canada and the Prince Edward Curling Club.

Council approved funding requests in full from Glenwood and Wellington Cemeteries, as well as a request of $75,000 from the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation to kick off the fundraising campaign for the new hospital.

Before the end of the night, the request from the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation for $61,797 was also scrapped and deferred to next year.

After the vote was carried Councillor David Harrison stated “This is ridiculous,” loud enough for those in close proximity to overhear.

The process allowed council to debate what requests would get full funding or reduced funding.

Suggestions were made and following the removal of the UHKF request, council was $5,900 in the black prompting Mayor Robert Quaiff to suggest making a motion to approve the remaining requests with the suggested amounts ending further discussions.

A recorded vote was called leading to a nine to five decision, taking many by surprise and leading to further discussions in small groups inside and outside council chambers.

Mayor Quaiff says when it comes to grant approvals, it’s never an easy process.

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He says at the end of the day, supporting local groups is a priority for him and he feels this council has taken a step forward in showing the community they do care about the social activities keep the residents going.

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Approved grants are as follows:

Prince Edward County Arts Council: $12,000 plus a $3,000 in kind grant

Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory: $5,000

Prince Edward County Chamber of Tourism and Commerce: $15,000

Community Development Council of Quinte: $10,000

The Edith Fox Life and Loss Centre: $6,000

Festival Players: $10,000

Glenwood Cemetery: $60,000

Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation: $75,000 from this year’s $100,000 hospital construction reserves contribution

Regent Theatre: $25,000

Recreation Outreach Centre; $40,000

The Sophiasburgh Hub: $75,000

The Hope Centre: $10,000

Volunteer and Information Quinte: $2,500

Wellington Cemetery Board: $12,000

University Hospitals Kingston Foundation: $0, deferred to 2019