Cache Creek Village office, date unknown. (Photo credit: Wendy Coomber)

New committee will oversee grants from Cache Creek Community Fund

Nearly $4,000 available to local organizations after first year of fund

Notes from the Cache Creek Committee of the Whole meeting on June 6. Coun. Annette Pittman was absent.

Cache Creek council has voted to create a Cache Creek Community Fund committee, and a policy to govern the fund, which was established in 2021, when council voted to take $50,000 from the Landfill Legacy Fund and use matching funds of $50,000 from Northern Development Initiative Trust. The principal cannot be touched, but interest generated by the fund will be disbursed to community organizations in the form of grants, in order to help them in their efforts to “improve social, cultural, artistic, education, and recreational well-being of community members”.

A report noted that staff are in the process of drafting policies and procedures to govern distribution of the funds; the first disbursement is expected by the end of 2022. In order to administer the program going forward, staff have requested the formation of a Cache Creek Community Fund Standing Committee, to whom all requests for funding would be directed. The committee would include two members of council and three community members, and will review the requests, make recommendations on a prioritized basis that is guided by the best interests of the community at large, and report to council.

Interest received in the spring of each year would be divided in half, and there would be two intakes each year: one in the spring, to fund projects in the fall of the year, and one in fall to fund projects the following spring. Unused funds from each intake period would be rolled over to the next one.

Groups eligible to apply for funding will be any volunteer or not-for-profit groups, registered societies, educational groups, or service clubs that service Cache Creek. The funds can be used for specific projects that have a defined beginning and end, with priority given to non-annual events and new applicants; there will also be an annual $500 bursary for a Cache Creek student graduating from Desert Sands School. The funds cannot be used for ongoing operational expenses, school trips or equipment, activities of a religious organization unless the community at large will benefit, retroactive funding, and a number of other items.

Eligible applicants can apply for up to 100 per cent of project costs, to a maximum contribution of $500, and up to 50 per cent of project costs, to a maximum contribution of $1,000, dependent on demand and the priority of the project. Groups that receive funding will be expected to submit a final report within 60 days of the project’s completion.

Coun. Wendy Coomber noted that many of the proposed rules governing the new committee are similar to those which governed the committee set up in the wake of the 2015 flooding, to disburse the $600,000 in donations that were received to help those impacted by the floods.

It was noted that the Community Fund has a very good rate of return, as all the funds are managed by the BC Interior Community Foundation, which invests the money on behalf of the individual funds in different communities. “It’s millions instead of our measly $50,000,” said Coun. Sue Peters. The guaranteed return is 3.5 per cent, and the amount available to be disbursed by Cache Creek after the first year is $3,900.

The larger the Cache Creek fund, the more interest it will generate annually. Mayor Santo Talarico noted that further donations to the fund can be accepted from anyone who wants to contribute and create a long-lasting legacy. Coomber also pointed out that the village can issue tax receipts for any donations to the fund.

A revised policy will come to council by July, and once it has been approved there can be a fall intake in September 2022, which gives groups the opportunity to put applications together over the summer. The community grant writer will be available to help groups that are struggling in putting together an application; for more information, contact the village office.

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