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Grant in aid debated

Instead of cutting back from the groups they support through their Grant-in-Aid program, the Town of Ladysmith is increasing the budget.Part of the reason for the increase is the one-time request of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #171 for the Highland Gathering. They are slated to receive $5,000.Last year, the town gave out $93,750 last year and was budgeted to only give out $90,000 this year.Council decided to increase their grant budget to give you $97,750.Each councillor and the mayor had an opportunity to say how much they would like to give towards a request and a consensus was reached.Among the groups and events slated to get funding include:Arts on the Avenue will get $1,000;The Ladysmith and District Historical Society will get $20,000;The Ladysmith Celebrations Society will get $8,000;Festival of Lights is set to get $12,000;The Santa Claus Parade will receive $1,000.For the harbour functions section:The Ladysmith and District Marine Rescue Society is set to receive $1,500;The Maritime Festival will receive $1,500;The LMS Marine Museum will get $1,000.The Ladysmith Resource Centre is budgeted to get $24,000 for their operations and $11,000 for victim services. Staff will be meeting with the centre to go over their budget and decide if there needs to be money specifically allocated to each of its departments.Other groups to receive funding include:The Arts Council is slated to receive $1,000;The Cowichan Family Caregivers Support Society will be getting $750;Citizens on Patrol will collar $1,500;Community Policing will be given $1,000;Ladysmith’s Community Garden will receive $3,000 and;The Sportsman’s Club will receive $500.For social services, the Central Vancouver Island Crisis Society will receive $500.There will be $2,500 going towards youth including $1,000 to the Ladysmith Ambassador Program and $1,500 to the Frank Jameson Scholarship.Sexual health planning in Ladysmith will also be getting $1,000.The total amount requested of taxpayers was $180,000.While many of the groups listed did not get the full amounts they were seeking, other groups got nothing.Council decided the town already gives to these groups in other ways or there are other revenue streams are available.The groups who requested, but didn’t receive funding include, Ladysmith Show and Shine, Ladysmith Little Theatre, Ladysmith Family and Friends, the B.C. Competitive Trail Riding Association, Ladysmith Employment, the Boys and Girls Club, Minor Football Association, B.C. Senior Games, Royal Canadian Air Cadets, Nanaimo Dry Grad and the Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association.

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