Trail Festival Society gets less money than requested

Group will be receiving nearly $10,000 less than they requested from council to put on the annual Silver City Days summer celebrations.

The Trail Festival Society got some discouraging news at Monday night’s governance meeting.

The group will be receiving nearly $10,000 less than they requested from council to put on the annual Silver City Days summer celebrations.

Ian McLeod, president of the society, says there is a sense of frustration with the decision to only fund $38,000 of the $46,685 they requested.

“It is like they doesn’t realize that by putting something like this on, you get people coming to town,” he said. “With the new council, they don’t really realize what we need. The councillors that were there before should know what is going on, but they don’t seem to be too receptive to keeping us going.”

Over the last few years, the Silver City Days cash grant from the city has remained fairly steady, around $35,000, with an exception in 2013 with $49,085 allocated for the 50th anniversary celebrations. The amount granted to the society this year is only slightly lower than last year’s cash grant of $38,725.

Trail Mayor, Mike Martin, says the amount of money going to the society is right on par with previous years, and is actually a little bit higher.

“The funds provided for the Trail Festival Society in 2015 are consistent with previous cash grants, recognizing that over and above the $38,000, there is approximately $15,000 of in kind services provided by the city,” he said.

With fewer events this year, McLeod says festival organizers are going to have to step it up in May.

“We have lost the Muay Thai and we’ve lost the bull-riding,” he said. “You might as well fold the streets up and just have a dust bowl in town, I mean really.”

To supplement the $38,000 promised from council, McLeod says the society has some money in reserves, but would rather save it for a rainy day.

“We do have some reserves, so it isn’t a great big thing, but if we run into any problems, we could end up short this year,” he said “We want to keep (the reserves) in case something goes wrong or blows up, then we would have the money to get it fixed.”

The next step for the festival society is to sit down at their meeting on April 1 to figure which events have to stay, which ones can be cut back, or even cut all together.

“Now that we have the budget, we can figure out what we can do,” he said. “There may be less bands playing on the weekend or something. We will cut where we have to and still try and put on a good show for everybody. We also can’t go overboard. We will know more after our next meeting.”

The $38,000 and in kind city labour was approved in addition to, as in previous years, the use of city facilities and equipment for the celebrations and have authorized the closing of the sidewalks.

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