A group proposing to build a new campground in Squamish will have to pitch its funding request outside of municipal piggybanks.
On Tuesday (Jan. 21), District of Squamish council combed through approximately $428,000 worth of community grant-in-aid pleas. In an attempt to get to a zero per cent municipal tax increase, officials weeded $278,000 worth of requests out of the list of projects eligible for grants-in-aid.
“The consensus is that we are not in a position of funding new projects,” Mayor Rob Kirkham said.
That left the Mamquam River Access Society’s request for $15,000 to build a campground on Crown land beside the Mamquam River still on the floor. Although in favour of providing more sites for seasonal visitors, the proposal is technically a business idea, Coun. Doug Race said, noting it doesn’t have the same social value as some of the other requests.
Grand Wall Bouldering Cooperative Association’s request to cover $1,000 worth of new climbing holds was also axed, along with the Squamish SPCA’s $4,000 plea for a feline spay and neuter program. Council did agree to support the animal shelter’s ongoing operations to the tune of $14,000.
Squamish Art Council’s Art Enhancement Grants — money handed out to Squamish artists for various community projects — was cut back from $15,000 to $10,000.
Coun. Ron Sander noted the outdoor exhibit Vancouver Biennale has already secured district funding this year. Coun. Patricia Heintzman was quick to point out the two entities are vastly different. Both Heintzman and Bryan Raiser expressed concern over the move.
“I am reluctant to cut this at all,” Heintzman said. “Biennale is a separate thing altogether.”
Officials did support Squamish Helping Hands Society’s request for $25,000 to provide funding for the organization’s move into its new transitional and overnight facility on Wilson Crescent.
Several requests are still in the running for the DOS grant-in-aid funding that remains.