Council allocates funds for new community grant

·2 min read

ST MARY’S – The Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s has introduced a $4,000 community grant its chief administrative officer hopes will become an annual, holiday tradition.

“What better time than the holiday season than to open a fund that could provide the community with funding for their needs,” David Hutten said. “This is the inaugural Holiday Community Grant, [and] we hope to grow from this and continue the positive return to our community. [St. Mary’s] council looks forward to giving back each year; again, if at all possible.”

This year’s initiative was made possible by a higher-than-expected surplus in municipal coffers – notably unused money for council travel and events spending curtailed due to COVID restrictions over the past year.

Hutten credited St. Mary’s Director of Finance Marian Fraser for introducing the idea at council’s committee of the whole meeting on Nov. 17.

“While preparing [the] Q2 (second quarter) review of financial statements, she took a little extra time and creativity to find places where funding could be provided for such initiatives,” he said. “To give back at a time like this is special, and to have council and staff work collectively to offer this gift is special.”

Under the program, the grant is available to non-profit organizations, community groups and specific community project sponsors within St. Mary’s, which demonstrate financial need.

Grant requests up to a maximum of $4,000 per application will be considered. Funds will be awarded based on project description and need.

“Non-profits are the goal,” Hutton said. “Projects from playgrounds to community centre improvements [are eligible from] groups that are operating in any way within the community and to the benefit of the community.”

Application forms are available through district councillors, at the municipal office in Sherbrooke or online from the St. Mary’s website.

The deadline for submission to local councillors is Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 1 p.m.

Successful recipients will be notified immediately following that meeting, Hutten said.

Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal

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