Government money is doled out all of the time, but none of it is landing in Grindrod.
The Grindrod Recreation Association is in the midst of constructing a new community hall but work will come to a halt because of a lack of funds. Specifically, much-anticipated grants from the federal and provincial governments have not materialized.
And yet there has been cash directed towards a spray park in Lumby, a new community centre in Vernon and even 120th birthday festivities in Spallumcheen. If there is money available for these communities, why is Grindrod being passed by?
Colin Mayes, Okanagan-Shuswap MP, insists Ottawa didn’t get involved because its grants program was only directed towards upgrading existing facilities and Grindrod’s plans didn’t conform.
Rules are rules, but what if it doesn’t make financial sense to utilize the existing building? In Grindrod’s case, the existing hall was built in 1905, and no matter what improvements were made, it would still be an old structure. The most efficient option for the long-term needs of the community was a brand new hall.
Certainly the association could be questioned for beginning work when all of the required $400,000 is not in hand. But when other organizations are tapping into senior government money, it’s easy to expect approval of your application.
There doesn’t appear to be any consistency in who is accessing federal and provincial grants, and restrictions may be too restrictive and not encourage the best use of tax dollars.
Mayes and MLA George Abbott need to investigate this matter further for Grindrod residents.
—The Morning Star