The Town of Hay River has adopted a new program that will allow it to support the community’s various organizations.
The Community Enhancement Grant Program Policy was passed at the June 25 regular meeting of council. It will affect sport, recreation, tourism or culture projects eligible for municipal funding.
Michael Richardson, the town’s senior administrative officer (SAO), said collecting applications is not new, but in the past there was no set time frame for submissions.
“We are trying to control the soliciting of grants,” he said. “We are publicizing the opportunity.”
Richardson said setting a submission window will allow administration to go through all of the applications and make recommendations to council for the next year’s budget.
The SAO said, by setting that window, groups which were previously unaware of the opportunity will be able to take advantage.
“We are giving everybody a chance to apply for grants,” he said.
Richardson estimated no more than 10 applications were being received annually, but by making the process public he hopes more groups will come forward.
“We used to get applications throughout the year, and there was no opportunity for those who missed the small window,” he said. “This way, everyone gets a fair chance.”
Richardson said the town is hoping to get more than 10 applications this year.
The applicants must be registered not-for-profit groups that have been incorporated for a minimum of one year or show that they are working towards that status.
Projects must promote and encourage voluntarism and community spirit, and enhance the work of local volunteer organizations, according to a news release from the town.
Funding will not be available to groups if it will duplicate existing funding from federal, territorial or private grants or any other source of financial support.
Applications are available on the town’s website and at Town Hall. They must be properly filled out with required documentation and submitted by Sept. 15 to be considered for next year’s budget.
“The biggest thing for all this is the co-ordination,” said Richardson. “Municipalities in the south have a very similar process, so it is about time we did, too.”