St. Stephen reduces grants by more than $10,000 - Jan. 09, 2013
There have been some additions and deletions to grants contained in the town’s 2013 budget.
Three new grants totalling $2,300 will be awarded to The Dragonfly Centre for Autism Inc. ($300); the Milltown Elementary School ($1,500) and to Emily Dean ($500) - a member of the local air rifle shooting club who is journeying to competitions in Australia.
Two grants awarded in the past will not be presented this year: $700 to Charlotte County Crime Stoppers and $5,000 to Rally in the St. Croix Valley, a cross-border motorcycle event.
“From past experience, groups can always come in and ask and council can always reconsider,” said John Ferguson, the town’s chief administrative officer (CAO).
He offered no explanation for the cut in funding to the Rally in the St. Croix Valley event.
“It was cut,” he stated.
The rally’s Canadian organizing chair Bob Hamel is disappointed at council’s decision. He said the committee had made a request to the town for $5,000 in funding in this year’s budget.
“It’s a little short sighted given the announcement we made to them that the folks who put on the Digby (Wharf Rat) rally had offered us their assistance.”
Hamel said the Wharf Rat Rally in Nova Scotia has been held for the past seven years. In 2012 it attracted 30,000 motorcyclists.
“They dropped $16 million in the town,” said Hamel.
He said the lack of financial support from the town will make it much more difficult to plan this year’s event.
“We had envisioned increasing our budget to $12,000 this year.”
Last year, the event had a budget of $8,000, Hamel stated.
“We will seek other funding and see what happens,” said Hamel, adding a reduced schedule may be the event’s only option if funds aren’t forthcoming. He said the event has to encompass several days and a variety of activities in order to attract participants.
At the conclusion of last year’s rally, Hamel made a presentation to council to describe the success of the event and to inform council a similar one was planned for 2013.
Hamel and members of the committee said they hoped the annual event, which drew a claimed 1,100 registered participants on the Canadian side, would be more successful as years went by and it grew in popularity.
At the same meeting Mayor John Quartermain was presented with a plaque from the group in appreciation of the town’s support.
This year’s grant to the MES will help the school in its plans to launch three new programs aimed at building student, parent and school relationships.
The Boys and Girls Club of Charlotte County will receive a grant of $5,000, up from the $1,000 it received last year. The increase is due to a council resolution for a long term commitment of $5,000 per year over the next several years to support the club at its new location.
Receiving the same amount of town funding as last year are the International Homecoming Festival ($1,000), Chocolate Fest ($1,500); the Chocolate Museum ($20,000) as well as Fundy Region Transition House ($1,500) and Citizens on Patrol ($2,000).
The Charlotte County Fall Fair and the St. Stephen Fall Fair will both receive $1,000 again this year from the town.