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City allocates funding

Budget: Blackburn Splash Park receives approval during disbursement of taxpayer dollars.
Trail Building
Trail support: City council voted to approve $40

The odds were much better than a lottery, but not everyone was a winner.

Thirty-two groups and individuals requested funds from the city’s 2016 budget via ‘specific referrals.’ In what city council emphasized is a tight year for funding, some received their full request, others received part, while some requests were denied.

In the parks department, the Blackburn Park Splash Park will be going ahead, at a total cost of $355,000.

The Rotary of Salmon Arm - Daybreak Club is providing $100,000, city reserves will be the source for $150,000, and a negotiated contribution from the SmartCentres development will total $105,000.

Coun. Alan Harrison expressed his appreciation for partnerships such as this.

The Salmon Arm Folk Music Society received $50,000 of a $60,000 request for operational funding. The city also provides an annual amount for fairgrounds maintenance, $14,000 in 2016.

Two requests were received for funds for a cultural master plan, but council decided it would initiate the plan.

Coun. Tim Lavery noted one organization has a vision for a performing arts centre and another for a cultural plan, “but they’re not talking together.” He suggested, for a start, $5,000 be put towards the plan, with the city starting the conversation on how to proceed.

A request for $1,000 from the Salmon Arm Elks #455 for lawn mowing was referred to the Shuswap Community Foundation, at the suggestion of Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond.

“It’s undersubscribed, they’re not overwhelmed with applications,” she said of the foundation.

Harrison noted the city provides funds to the foundation so it can distribute them.

“I think it’s a good motion – that’s exactly how it’s supposed to work.”

The Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce Visitor Centre  will receive $130,500 for one year of operation, but Wallace Richmond requested a discussion with the chamber prior to next  year’s funding decisions. She wants to discuss “what a visitor centre looks like in the digital age.”

The Shuswap Trail Alliance received approval from council for $40,000 towards operational funding.

Also approved was $12,000 for the BCSPCA; $5,000 for Salmon Arm Citizens Patrol; $7,500 for the Shuswap Children’s Association for a swim platform at Canoe Beach; $1,200 to the Community Heritage Committee for the Canada 150 sub-committee and the coordination of a central registry of events; and $3,000 requested by Al Boucher for more infield maintenance at the Canoe softball diamonds.

Council agreed to provide $30,000 of a $92,000 request from Canoe Forest Products for an upgrade of the watermain along a portion of Canoe Beach Drive from six to eight inches.

Coun. Kevin Flynn urged that, as one of the city’s biggest employers, the funds make sense, plus fire chief Brad Shirley said it would improve firefighting safety and effectiveness.

A request from Downtown Salmon Arm for $21,000 for recycling bins downtown garnered $10,500 from council. Harrison said he supports the bins but thinks DSA should cost share, at least the capital cost of the bins.

Doug Adams with the Salmon Arm Museum and Heritage Association requested $50,000 for each of two years for the Montebello Block Project. Haney Village also receives $106,000 annually.

Council agreed to add $15,000 to an earlier contribution of $10,000 in 2016 for a total of $25,000, as well as an additional $25,000 the year after. Coun. Ken Jamieson said council needs to find a way to fund the project, but noted the city can’t afford $50,000. Adams said Canada 150 funding has been put on hold for now because of the election, but the project will proceed in any event.

The Economic Development Society will receive $15,000 of a request for a $25,000 contract increase.

After much discussion, council decided that a total of $7,500 will go towards the society’s request, while the other $7,500 is intended to go towards assisting the city with the implementation of a hotel tax.