City sets core funding rules
Committee to recommend revised bylaw

Cindy MacDougall
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Jan 07/00) - City council's chosen ones will soon have their funding rules etched in bylaw stone.

The council's corporate services committee worked on a proposed core funding policy during their meeting Monday.

Coun. Bob Brooks, chair of the committee, said the policy will put the existing funding rules for core groups, as well as some new twists, into writing.

"There was basically no policy in place before we made a change in this year's budget process, making a distinction between core funding and special grants," said Brooks.

Brooks said the policy will help any group applying for core funding, which is a yearly grant to an organization, usually for operating costs.

"It won't affect the current core funding groups," he said. "In fact, it will give them more surety."

The proposed policy outlines what kind of groups may apply for core funding, what they have to do to apply and when and how the city can yank their funding.

"If council decided not to fund a group any more, they used to have a few months notice," said Brooks. "Now, we'll have to give them 12 months notice.

"We wanted to have a procedure for phasing out funding under extraordinary circumstances."

The city will fund 11 core funding groups this year, with a total budget of $185,500. The only new group in the past few years is the Side Door Youth Drop-in Centre, which received core funding for the first time in 1999. It will receive $40,000 for its operating budget in 2000.

The core funding policy has been sent back to administration so the new revisions on funding cuts can be added to the final draft. It will be recommended to council in the next several weeks.

Mayor Dave Lovell said core funding grants are essential to many groups in the city, such as the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre and Caribou Carnival.

"Core funding is security," he said.

Ina Murray, general manager of the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, said the organization's $40,000 core grant from the city keeps NACC open.

"I haven't read the (proposed) bylaw, but I know council and administration have always been very open in helping us develop our proposal," she said. "We're just really grateful for the city's generosity."