The town of Bonnyville only has 3,000 dollars left in their contingency budget for local organizations’ funding requests for the entire year.
The issue was brought to council’s attention at the last meeting in a memorandum. The town has a contingency budget for funding requests of 50,000 dollars for 2017. Most of that got spent in one chunk when they gave the Bonnyville Golf and Country Club 30,000 dollars to help cover part of a new irrigation system. Another ten went to a one time grant to the Bonnyville & District SPCA and the remaining seven thousand went to the Chamber of Commerce, providing more sponsorship money for the Oil and Gas Show than anticipated.
While the town only has three grand left for unexpected funding requests, that doesn’t mean all funding will stop completely. The town has another 48,000 dollars budgeted for donations and grants they’re expecting throughout the year and there’s still 14,618 that hasn’t been tied up from there. If all those forecasted expenses stay at the level they’re expected to, the town would still have about 17,000 dollars to give for the next six months.
Councillor Jim Cheverie suggested some money could be freed up by moving the golf course expense from one budget to another, but this was shot down.
“I’m a little nervous about adjusting the figures every time we’re unhappy with the bottom line,” said Councillor Ray Prevost. “We put out 50,000 for donations. I realize we’re at six and a half months to go, but that’s our own fault. We felt that the golf course was a good deal. Rather than give them the 150,000 dollars they were asking for, we said thirty, one time shot. Maybe what we should have said was thirty, but fifteen this year and fifteen next, but we didn’t. Now that we didn’t, I don’t want to play around with it.”
Councillor Lorna Storoschuk was more succinct. “The reason you set a budget is to follow a budget. Otherwise, why have it?”
Council may decide to fund more projects throughout the year anyway, but if they go over what’s left that means taking money away from another area.