The City of Duncan has, again, denied an application for funding from its COVID-19 grant program.
At its meeting on May 2, council turned down a request for $9,000 from the grant program from the Duncan Curling Club to help replace its ice plant.
In its application, the DCC said there was a catastrophic failure of the ice plant and it must be replaced, the compressor rebuilt and the building brought up to code, with costs expected to be approximately $200,000.
The application said, in addition, that the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions at the DCC has taken a financial toll on the centre.
“To enable the DCC to survive, we are fundraising and have raised over $84,000 with additional events and fundraising continuing to happen,” the application said.
“We are reaching out to the local business community and our membership for support, as well as applying for other grant opportunities. The grant funds [from the city] would be added to the fundraising and will be used to replace the ice plant.”
But Coun. Tom Duncan said at the council meeting that the application doesn’t fit the criteria of the COVID-19 grant program.
“[The DDC] isn’t even in Duncan, and I imagine very few people actually use it,” he said.
“I can’t see how it would benefit the city as part of a COVID-19 restart to redo the ice plant up there so, regrettably, I have to put forward a motion to deny this request.”
Only Coun. Jenni Capps voted to approve the application.
At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, city council began the grant program that is intended to support residents and businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 by leveraging other funding or encouraging “made in Duncan” concepts.
The city earmarked $100,000 for the program, and there is a $10,000 cap for each application.
So far, only four out of 15 applications have been approved by council, and the program still has $54,400 in its coffers.
The applications that were denied were largely considered by council to not fit the criteria of the program, or didn’t directly benefit the people or businesses in the city.
To be successful, the grant applications must support Duncan businesses, residents, or both impacted by COVID-19 or establish recovery programs; demonstrate that the organization has exhausted other potential opportunities for funding from local, provincial, and federal sources; and focus substantially on city businesses, residents, or both.