Scout Island Nature Centre is in danger of losing $12,500 in annual grant funding from the city.
Mayor Walt Cobb confirmed Friday that the city council committee of the whole voted three to two during its regular meeting Tuesday not to approve renewal of the nature centre’s fee for service grant application. Not all council members were present for the meeting.
“I am very disappointed with this decision,” said nature centre president Fred McMechan. “If we don’t get the funding we will be forced to cut some programs.”
Cobb said the resolution to deny the annual grant of $12,500 will be put to a vote at the regular council meeting on Tuesday, Feb.7.
He would not say why he or the committee members present voted against renewing the grant, only that the $12,500 is part of a total of $40,000 the city provides annually for operation of the nature house. This does not include what the city spends to maintain the beach and dock area, he said.
If people want to know the reason for the recommendation to deny the fee for service grant application, Cobb said they should attend the council meeting on Tuesday.
McMechan said the nature centre executive has asked to speak at the city council meeting Tuesday and is encouraging the public to attend the meeting in support of the nature centre’s grant application.
This is the first time that a council has considered denying the nature centre a fee for service grant, McMechan said.
He said the grant which is currently $12,500 a year represents 15 per cent of the staffing costs to keep the nature house open for public visits during the summer and providing educational programs for schools, summer programs for children, and programs for community groups and the general community.
“We certainly will have to cut open hours and many of our programs if this goes ahead,” said nature house education co-ordinator Sue Hemphill.