‘Oversubscription of applications’: Smiths Falls community grant recommendations get council nod

Community grants totalling $190,000 were approved by Smiths Falls council on Feb. 4, 2024 – Unsplash

The “oversubscription of applications” made it difficult to allocate funds through the Smiths Falls community grants.

Staff will revisit the way in which they allocate those funds to the organizations within the community. There were 38 organizations that requested more than $383,000.

Council approved $190,000 – seven were not eligible, while the remaining organizations received partial funding from their original requests. This will be paid for by a one per cent tax increase.

Julia Crowder, manager of tourism and economic development said since the program’s inception they always had enough funding to cover all the asks – except this year.

An overhaul of the process is in order, Crowder said, as they take a deeper dive into the evaluation criteria.

“Staff is going to endeavour to do that later on this year,” she said during a committee of the whole meeting in Smiths Falls on Feb. 5.

They will come back to council “at some point” to look for additional information and direction, Crowder said, then they will have a full update on the program, “for consideration and adoption.”

In the meantime, they rejigged some of the asks this year after a debate on Jan. 15 during a regular meeting of council, where they were asked to have a look at the different ways to allocate funding.

This year’s grants do “subscribe to the full $190,000 that was allocated,” she said. “All of the funding will be used and given to all of the eligible applicants.”

Mayor Shawn Pankow said they’ve come up with a fair action and fair outcome.

Based on special criteria, Pankow said, a fair methodology was applied to distribute the funds, “proportionately across the board.”

The following applications for community donations for 2024 were approved:

  • RNJ Youth Services requested $25,000; received $16,183.05.
  • Smiths Falls Cruisers Car Club, ($1,000); $647.32.
  • Bowie’s, ($2,500); $1,618.30.
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Lanark County, ($25,000), $16,183.05.
  • REAL Deal, ($7,500); $4,854.91.
  • Rural FASD Support Network, ($25,000), $16,183.05.
  • Smiths Falls Curling and Squash Club, ($6,350), $4,110.49.
  • Davidson’s Courtyard, ($1,032.50); $668.36.
  • Town Square Market Event, ($1,482.50), $959.65.
  • Smiths Falls Horticultural Society, ($600), $388.39.
  • Smiths Falls Pride Committee, ($6,900), $4,466.52.
  • Playground Committee of St. Francis de Sales; ($10,000), ineligible as the school board would own the asset.
  • PEP – Seniors Therapeutic Centre, ($23,712), $15,349.30.
  • Porch Fest, ($10,000), $4,175.
  • Highlands on the Rideau, event, (Gordon Pipe Band), ($5,090), $6,473.22.
  • Gordon Pipe Band, minor capital, ($18,600), $3,294.87.
  • SFDCI Reunion Band, ($5,000), ineligible as it’s for third party fundraising.
  • Downtown BIA, ($20,000), $12,946.44.
  • ConnectWell, Smiths Falls Respite Home, ($25,000), ineligible as it offers services outside Smiths Falls.
  • Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario, ($25,000), $16,183.05.
  • Mother’s Day Matinee, by Matt Connell and Amber McLean ($1,250), $809.15
  • Holiday Concert, by Matt Connell and Amber McLean, ($1,250), $809.15
  • St. Francis Masonic Lodge, ($20,000), ineligible as it is for major capital repair over $10,000.
  • Eventive for youth engagement art programs, ($10,000), $6,473.22.
  • Christin Storms for live music busker series on Russell Street this summer, ($2,500), $1,618.30.
  • Smiths Falls and District Arts and Culture Council, ($750), $485.49.
  • Smiths Falls and District Arts and Culture Council, ($250 for art hangars for private business), $161.83.
  • Makesndoes Productions (for two shows, $10,000), $6,473.22.
  • The Table Falls Food Hub, ($25,000), $16,183.05.
  • Kristina Skeries for winter events at Lower Reach Park, ($975), $631.14.
  • Smiths Falls Firefighters Association, ($2,000), ineligible as it’s a third-party fundraiser.
  • Smiths Falls and District Chamber of Commerce for Ribfest in July, ($15,000), $9,709.83.
  • The Farmers Market at The Falls, ($2,500), $1,618.30.
  • Smiths Falls Kinsmen, ($8,880), $5,748.22.
  • Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 95, Smiths Falls for Christmas parade, ($4,500), $2,912.95.
  • Rideau Round Table for PaddleFest, ($5,895), $3,815.96.
  • Modern Tymes for display equipment, ($25,000), ineligible as it is for a private business.
  • Nick Di Gaetano for theatre production funding, ($2,500), ineligible as the community grants do not support these types of activities.

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