Council backs off on unpopular grant policy

Previous grant in aid rules will apply until a new policy is drafted

Local non-profit groups received some relief Monday from town council.

A newly adopted policy requiring associations to submit audited financial statements with applications for grant money has been temporarily shelved.

“I have discussed the matter with staff and in discussion with individual councillors, I have concluded that the town will apply the 2016 grant-in-aid policy to the 2017 applications,” said Mayor Frank Armitage.

The municipality grants approximately $63,000 a year to organizations ranging from the Youth Ambassador Program to the Hospital Auxiliary and the Halloween Family Fun Night.

Armitage he said realized after the policy was passed that some of the grants awarded amount to less than the cost of an audit.

“The applicants are asked to submit their 2017 grant-in-aid application as they always have. Council will review those applications according to the 2016 policy framework,” said Armitage.

“In the meantime, council will be asking staff to prepare an adjusted policy with input from the affected groups for consideration in mid-2017.”

The town’s original grant in aid policy was adopted in 2010, and set the limit for grants at $10,000.

CAO Rick Zerr addressed the fact that some grants in recent years fell outside the policy.

For example in the past two years the Princeton Posse received $15,000 and the Princeton Museum received $26,000.

“Council has used the policy as a guideline,” said Zerr.

Armitage said “no one has arrested us for giving that money to the Posse yet.”