Nonprofit groups receiving Township of Langley grants would be required to acknowledge the financial support or risk losing the money under a new rule proposed by Councillor Charlie Fox, who also wants a better look at their behind-the-scenes activities.
The written notion of motion filed by Fox on Monday, Jan. 20 says many of the nonprofit agencies and societies getting Township money “have no recognition of that [support] on their website or letterhead.”
He thinks the groups should be required to acknowledge the financial support by “displaying the Township logo and appropriate wording.”
Fox also thinks the groups should be required to list their current executive on their website, and they should invite Township council to their annual general meetings as well as provide a written record of the meeting that includes a financial statement.
If they don’t, they should be denied funding, Fox says.
When it was put to a vote, the proposal was sent to a council committee for study, over the objections of Councillors Kim Richter, Bob Long and David Davis.
Richter called the proposed new rule “a little Big-Brotherish.”
Long said for council to pass a new regulation, there should be a real issue to justify it.
“I don’t see one,” Long said.
Last year, Township council approved over $350,000 in grants to local community groups.
Council awarded 94 community grants worth a total of $267,650 and 10 new capital improvement grants for a total of $69,600.
Recipients included service clubs, business associations, equestrian societies, animal care supporters, and organizations that promote wellness and education.
The money funded classes for at-risk youth, support for arts and culture initiatives as well as health and wellness, education, anti-bullying, and outreach programs. It also paid for community gardens and environment stewardship groups.
Capital improvement funding went to washroom upgrades, wheelchair ramp installations, kitchen repairs, and new flooring at several community halls, the BC Farm Machinery and Agricultural Museum, Brookswood Seniors Centre, Fort Langley Lions Seniors Hall, and the Langley Playhouse.
Council approved $17,000 in student scholarships, with two $1,000 awards going to each of the eight Township high schools and $1,000 to Apex Secondary. Each Township high school hosting a dry grad event also received $250.
Canada Day, Aldergrove Festival Days, and International Festival events each received $10,000 and the Fort Langley Cranberry Festival got $5,000.
The Fort Langley, Brookswood, and Aldergrove communities also received banner grants totaling $16,500 to design and install community-focused street banners.
A total of $35,000 was put towards the “Nothing Without Effort” initiative which makes $5,000 available to each of the Township’s six communities plus the rural region for beautification efforts.
The Township also makes annual grants of up to $2,500 to non-profit groups and organizations for what the Township website describes as “special events/special projects [that] must demonstrate the benefit to the Township, must involve local residents, and should be held in the Township of Langley, or for the benefit of a majority of Township residents.”