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Staff recommendations ignored by council, funds provided to numerous city groups

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

Despite an extensive list of organizations finding their way on to staff’s naughty list, Oshawa city council has disregarded the recommendation and their own approved criteria for approving partnership requests, and allotted thousands of dollars in funding.

In total, nearly $275,000 is set to be handed out to almost 20 different community organizations giving  needed social and cultural services to city residents. Approved through the city’s anchor and partnership grant programs, the final say will be given to council during budget deliberations in January.

This program provides registered organizations with consistent funding each year.

As previously reported in The Express, this program recently received criticism from staff for the lack of guidelines for adding additional anchor organizations.

However, in the coming year, the program is set to provide $228,700 in funding to 10 different organizations, including a $57,100 grant to the Boys and Girls Club of Durham, $26,500 of in-kind services to the Motor City Car Club, $33,000 of in-kind services of Oshawa Rotary Ribfest and a $41,500 grant for the Friends of Second Marsh, among others. While this is a decrease from the $233,900 approved last year, council does accept applications throughout the year.

The city’s partnership grants program provides grants to local not-for-profit organizations that provide services within the city. For 2017, only a single application, $2,500 to the Autism Home Base Durham, was recommended for approval from staff, which council eventually approved.

The remaining nine organizations did not meet council’s approved criteria, which along with the local implications, also requires organizations to show some kind of progress toward decreasing their reliance on municipal dollars.

The finance committee has sent a recommendation to council that all nine of them be approved, for a total of $46,200.

The largest grant is set to be given to the CIBC Run for the Cure in the amount of $14,700. Other grants include $5,000 each for the Canadian Automotive Museum, Durham Youth Orchestra, Simcoe Hall Settlement House and Feed the Need Durham.

Requests from Distress Centre Durham, Durham Outlook, Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the Oshawa Curling Club were denied.