St. Paul council approves new policy for community groups asking for funding

A new funding policy is in place for non-profits and community groups who want to receive funding from the Town of St. Paul, following detailed discussions at Committee of the Whole Feb. 11 and the regular council meeting Feb. 22.

The Community Grant Funding Policy details the rules for groups wanting to apply for operating grants, capital funding, facility bookings, and in kind donations for auctions and other events.

According to Mayor Maureen Miller, the policy was developed because of the lack of clarity when the requests were being brought to council.

“We had a budget dollar, but it wasn’t well clarified or clear to Council and we’d get into long debates over ‘does this meet that? Does that meet that?’ And it was it was to me not a very efficient way for the for the community to come to us,” said Miller in an interview after the meeting.

Under the new policy, any St. Paul sports team which qualifies to compete in a provincial or higher level tournament will be eligible for $500. Teams hosting provincial, national, or international competitions will be eligible for $1,000. Persons competing in individual sports can receive $250 if they qualify for provincial, national, or international competitions.

There is also funding available for operating and capital grants for organizations. According to and e-mail from CAO Kim Heyman, pending council’s final approval of the 2021 budget there is a total of $40,000 designated for Community Grants, including $25,000 of operating grants and $15,000 of capital grants. She noted the total amount available does vary from year to year depending on budget restraints.

Capital grants can be applied for once every three years in order to give all the community groups the opportunity to apply for the funding.

“Quite often, that’s a matching grant. So we want to be able to maximize that opportunity for provincial federal money or other matching grants that they can get in. So we wanted to separate that out of operations which we get often asked for, for operational grants,” said Miller.

According to the policy groups can request a maximum of $2,000. Requests under $500 can be approved by staff without financial statements from the group. Requests for more than $500 will require supporting documents and information for the application, and the decision will be made by council.

Miller said council is expecting more requests for operational grants than usual because of how limited many groups fundraising capacities have been in the past year.

“They’re going to be needing to bridge them over this time frame. So we’re wanting to spread that money as far as we can and support as many organizations as we can. So that’s why we kind of capped it at $2,000 at this time,” said Miller.

She said the policy will be reviewed regularly and if they find at the end of the year they did not give out the money they will review it again, but for now they want to make sure the Community Grant Funding is available to as many people as possible.

Applications for Community Grant Funding can be made by submitting the application form found on the Town of St. Paul’s website to the Parks and Recreation Department.

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