County task force to review rec grants

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A new task force has been established by Big Lakes County to review policy that regulates funding for recreation and culture in hamlets.

At its regular meeting Oct. 25, council appointed a task force that was originally named by council at its meeting Aug. 30 before the municipal elections Oct. 16, recommended by administration.

Enilda – Big Meadow Councillor Donald Bissell was appointed as a new council member while Prairie Echo – Salt Prairie Councillor Dave Marx and Kinuso Councillor Ken Killeen were reappointed.

The latter two were initially assigned at the Aug. 30 meeting, along with former Enilda – Big Meadow councillor Ron Matula, who was unseated in Oct. 16 election.

Marx and Killeen also both served on the committee that drafted and established the policy in 2011.

The review came after county director of corporate services, Heather Naninnga, reviewed policies after she started work on June 19, 2017.

We haven’t followed the hamlet recreation funding policy for the past two years.” she says.

The 2011 policy states the annual county grant allocations are valued on a per-capita basis as detailed in schedule A, she says.

Funding changes shall be pegged as increases or decreases in funding occur for the High Prairie and District Regional Recreation Board, the policy states.

However, changes did not occur.

Furthermore, population rates [based on 2006 data] have changed.

Thus, the basis of Big Lakes County hamlet recreation per-capita funding is now outdated,” says Nanninga.

The task force will consider several aspects of the policy.

– What is the ultimate goal of the hamlet recreation grant? Is it currently reaching that goal according to the policy statement?

– Does council wish to fund solely recreation activities or other cultural activities that may benefit the hamlet and wider community?

– Should policy stipulate that hamlet recreation funding go towards specific cost, events or programs or continue to fund general operational costs?

– What benchmarks should be included on an annual needs basis to determine grant allocations to each hamlet?

– How should the recipient recreation organizations be selected?

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