Courtenay council used a ranking system to approve grant-in-aid payments to 14 organizations, up to a cumulative maximum of $84,000 for 2018. The money comes from gaming funds.
The recipients include Comox Valley Arts ($13,000); Habitat for Humanity ($10,000); the Comox Bay Care Society Care-A-Van ($8,600); Comox Valley Recovery Centre ($7,100); YANA ($7,000); Coalition to End Homelessness ($5,900);CV Folk Society, MusicFest ($5,500); LUSH Valley Food Action Society ($5,100); CV Land Trust ($4,800); Project Watershed ($4,500); CV Transition Society ($4,200); Multicultural & Immigrant Support Society ($3,500); Comox Valley Nature, wetlands restoration projects ($2,900); the Indigenous Women’s Sharing Society ($1,900).
Coun. Doug Hillian feels a yes/no format would be easier than the ranking system, which he said was “not our finest hour” in terms of processes.
Reluctantly, Hillian voted against some of the requests from organizations he admires because the City had already supported the groups in some manner. “I think we should come up with a different process for this,” Hillian said at the Oct. 2 meeting.
Council adopted a zoning amendment bylaw that allows Habitat for Humanity to construct a 10-unit home at 1330 Lake Trail Rd. Habitat’s mission is to give deserving families a ‘hand up,’ as opposed to a handout. The organization does not provide homes free of charge. As a down payment, future homeowners invest 500 hours of ‘sweat equity’ by volunteering at the ReStore and at build sites.
The Comox Valley is one of the few Island communities without a Community Health Network (CHN) — which unites people from a variety of sectors to positively influence health and well-being in communities. “It’s a broad collaboration,” said Megan Tomlinson, a member of the local CHN planning committee. The group asked council for support in terms of leadership — not money — and to be a network member. Hillian, noting the existence of a social planning committee, questioned why the network is needed. Committee member Betty Tate said the purpose is to unite committees, as opposed to replacing the social planning committee with a CHN. A Health Network Forum has been planned for Nov. 16 at the Native Sons Hall.