The City of Cold Lake is addressing the increase of community groups, facilities, and non-profits are coming in front of Council request funds. Mayor of Cold Lake, Craig Copeland, explains that since the decline of the oil & gas industry, groups have no where else to turn when they are in need of funding.
“What we’ve noticed, especially when the economy started tanking, we had more and more groups come in front of Council; because we’re almost the only place in town to get money now,” Mayor Copeland explains that without an application process and a once-a-year intake it can become very overwhelming, “when you do the budget, you put money aside and there’s just not enough for all the requests that come in.”
Due to the increase in requests, the City of Cold Lake has established a Community Capital Grant Program. The program accepts applications from community groups and reviews the applications once a year. From the review process, projects are selected for funding.
The Community Capital Grant Program launched last year, confirms the mayor, “people had until May and we extended it to June to get your applications in. They’ll come to Council at the first meeting of July.” The first meeting is next Tuesday, July 11th at 6:00 pm.
The issue was brought to up again at June 27th regular Council Meeting where Dr. Margaret Savage Crisis Centre requested $69,164.84 from Council to cover the cost of lot servicing at their new facility at 5205 – 50 Street, Cold Lake. “We struggled with that because it would set a precedence. If we agreed to service their lot, we would have so many other groups coming forward with the same request,” explains the mayor. “We referred them to the Community Capital Grant Program.”
“We’re trying to get all the community groups to fill out the applications and apply to the grant program. We’re trying to avoid the one-offs and get it more structured.” This allows the City to better budget for these types of funding requests.