CORNWALL – City councillors on the yet-to-be-decided budget committee will be dealing with a record amount of grants for city tax dollars.
There are 16 so-called “outside agencies” asking for a global amount of $1.3 million in grants for 2016 – an amount not seen in recent memory.
Cornwall CFO Maureen Adams said staff are reviewing those applications as the first draft of the 2016 budget is being put together for distribution sometime in the first or second week of December.
This year, there were a dozen groups asking for a total of $719,437 before funding was capped at $525,000. There was an additional $60,000 worth of in-kind city services.
Coun. David Murphy, who successfully argued for the cap, told Cornwall Newswatch his position has not changed. “We can’t be all things to all people, as much as we would like to be. We have to remind ourselves what business we are in as a municipality. We are a municipality that provides services,” Murphy said.
With fewer sources of revenue, like provincial transfers, he suggests things will be tighter in the future.
“We’ve had the opportunity because we’ve had revenue streams available to us to be able to assist these outside agencies in the past. While I do accept that we should continue to do that, I do believe we should also limit how much of that we do,” Murphy said.
The $1.3 million doesn’t include another 10 agencies that have made applications for services-in-kind from the city in 2016.
“People realize there is a pool (of money) available to them and they are attempting to take advantage of it and I can’t blame them for that. If I was an agency and I thought I might be able to get some municipal funding to help whatever I’m doing, of course I would apply. It makes sense to apply,” Murphy said.