Council turns down Community Foundation request for funding

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KAWARTHA LAKES-Almost everyone loved the idea but the majority didn’t want to fund it.

The Community Foundation of Kawartha Lakes made it’s second presentation to council today in an attempt to secure seed funding of $75,000 in 2017 and possibly another $75,000 in 2018 and 2019.  Mike Perry and Marlene Morrison-Nichols told council that the “investment” could reap huge rewards. “This really is an investment.” said Perry. “We get a return on investment.” Council Voted in favour of supporting the project in theory but without any financing.

Perry said the City of Peterborough gave the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough $75,000 and they’ve parlayed that into 6.5 million dollars in donations. “It pays back the city residents” Perry explained to some skeptical council members. Councillor Breadner said “I think what you are doing is going to be great for the community, but how do we justify giving your organization this money?”

Councillor Dunn supported the idea of a Community Foundation but didn’t think council should provide any money. ” It’s not an investment, it’s a donation.” he said. “Every time I’ve been sold something I didn’t want it’s been sold as an investment” But Councillor Elmslie disagreed. “It is an investment, I think if we don’t do this we are missing the boat”

In essence a Community Foundation contributes time, leadership and financial support to initiatives that benefit the community. According to the Community Foundations of Ontario they act as champions for issues that matter and direct grants to everything from shelter, education, and care for those in need, to the arts, environment and recreation. The difference between a Community Foundation and other Charities is the size of the donations. Community Foundations go after large amounts of money from local estates or philanthropists that might otherwise leave the municipality. Their goal is to “fill the gaps”

Perry told council some of the money raised could go to help with things such as much needed road repairs and to keep arena’s open. But the Mayor said this type of financial donation/investment is outside of council’s mandate. “Every bone in my body says we shouldn’t be supporting start-up costs for outside organizations”

The Community Foundation of Kawartha Lakes already has one large donation lined up and they have two more in the works according to Perry. However that money can’t be used for start-up costs. The group still plans on moving forward with the project despite councils rejection. “Without the city support it will certainly slow the process down, it’s success is depending on it.”said the foundations Marlene Morrison-Nichols

A board of directors has been appointed and they have secured office space. Click here for more information: http://www.kawarthafoundation.com