“You never count your money,” sang Kenny Rogers, “when you’re sitting at the table. There’ll be time enough for countin,’ when the dealin’s done.”
As it turns out, council for the MD of Pincher Creek was able to deal out some much-needed help to local organizations after gathering restrictions affected normal operations last year.
The provincial and federal governments helped provide funding to municipalities through the Municipal Operating Support Transfer, which saw the MD receive $305,233.
Under half of that amount will be used by the MD to make up for lost tax revenue in 2020; $50,000 of that portion was used to cover additional work-from-home expenses for MD staff, which included upgrading the IT system to improve software speed.
Ironically, the MD’s system provider has been slow in making the upgrade to faster software and cannot guarantee the change will occur before March 31, which is when all of the MOST funding must be spent.
Upgrading the system, said director of finance Meghan Dobie, remains a priority despite the hiccup. “It is something administration still wants to do to help improve the speed at which our IT software is working.”
Rather than gambling on missing the deadline, council followed the finance department’s advice and approved using $6,700 from the tax rate stabilization reserve during its Feb. 23 regular meeting.
Council also approved distribution of the remaining MOST funds — a total of $171,390.72 — to community organizations that experienced financial difficulties due to the pandemic.
Twenty-six groups petitioned the MD for financial assistance, which totalled $431,000 in requested funds. While unable to meet the requested amount, the MD was able to deal out donations to 19 of those groups.
Some of the more significant contributions include $10,000 to Chinook Lanes, $20,000 to the Family Resource Centre, $11,400 to the Livingstone Ski Academy Society and $21,434.50 to the Pincher Creek and District Chamber of Commerce.
A full list of organizations approved for MOST funding can be found in ad on page 5 and on the MD’s website at https://bit.ly/MD_MOST.