(PQB News file photo)

(PQB News file photo)

Oceanside Services Committee wants to review recreation grant program allocation

Concerns raised about criteria not being adhered to

The Oceanside Services Committee wants to review the process involved in the allocation of its recreation grant program.

The April 2020 intake was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic and for the second instalment there were 27 applicants that the Regional District of Nanaimo processed. Three were deemed ineligible as they were considered business entities and do not meet the non-profit criteria.

The combined value of the eligible requests is $49,973. There is a total of $75,000 for recreation grant funding that was approved in the 2020 financial plan and remains available.

However, before the amount was endorsed by the committee, directors questioned the eligibility of some of applicants that include School District 69 (Qualicum) which applied for $2,500 for the Oceanside Community Track Renewal Project.

Parksville director Adam Fras does not consider the school district to be a non-profit organization and made a motion to deny its application. The committee endorsed the motion reducing the total request value to $47,473.

Fras then went on to suggest that a subcommittee be formed to review all applications as he feel that criteria are not being adhered to.

READ MORE: RDN to form new group to replace Northern committees

More than a year ago, it was the Northern Community Economic Development Select Committee that was responsible for reviewing grant applications but it was dissolved when the Regional District of Nanaimo established the Oceanside Services Committee.

“I didn’t realize there was a subcommittee in the past and I am not sure why it went away,” said Fras, who added that he now can see its value and favours forming one.

Electoral Area F director Leanne Salter supported the motion as she feels it would give them more time to review the applications.

“It’s important to do this work for the community who are asking for the grants,” said Salter. “We could be missing things because we don’t have time to go through this the way we’re doing now. I think it’s a really good idea.”

Parksville director Ed Mayne agrees the Oceanside Services Committee should sit and evaluate the applications thoroughly. But he doesn’t feel a subcommittee is necessary.

The motion to form a subcommittee did not pass but Electoral Area G director Lehann Wallace put a notice of motion to be added to the agenda in their next meeting that they review the program, how much is being spent and how it is being allocated.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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