County adopts policy guiding funding to groups

·2 min read

Non-profit groups and other municipalities seeking significant funding from the County of Grande Prairie have a new policy to work with, said county reeve Leanne Beaupre.

County council adopted a “funding of major community projects policy” intended to increase the accountability of funding recipients to the county.

“The County of Grande Prairie wants to make sure when we invest taxpayers’ dollars, we have a very good understanding of how that project is proceeding and we have some oversight,” Beaupre said.

The policy applies to capital projects where the county has contributed 50 per cent of the costs or more, or more than $250,000.

Beaupre said in practice the county has exercised some oversight in the past, so the new policy reflects this effort.

According to the new policy, the purpose is to ensure projects follow industry best practices (including seeking quotes) and are completed within original budget timelines.

Council may evaluate each project and determine the amount of oversight needed, according to the policy.

A county-supported project must have a professional project manager and a county employee assigned as a point of contact, according to the policy.

Moreover, the county may establish a sub-committee or intermunicipal committee to see the county’s interests are upheld.

An intermunicipal committee may be established if there are multiple funding partners from different municipalities, Christine Rawlins, county parks and rec manager, said during Monday’s meeting.

The project manager must submit a monthly progress report to the county contact and a quarterly update to council, according to the policy.

Beaupre said the policy applies not only to non-profits but to towns. For example, the county has committed to funding half the new Beaverlodge firehall.

Beaupre said county and town representatives have already been in discussions over the new firehall and the county will have input in the design.

The policy also requires the county receive public recognition for the contributions.

County Coun. Peter Harris’ motion to adopt the policy was carried unopposed.

Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News