Better way to share funding cash

"We could go back to a time when we could jointly and fully fund projects that would benefit all of us"

All of us are oversubscribed with grant applications, not just Trail.  This is a good thing.

What if we had grant money left over and no community projects to consider?  It is wonderful that so many community groups take the time and energy to look for ways to improve our communities.  Thank you to those who volunteer!

Each of the communities within the Lower Columbia gives money “beyond our borders” for worthy projects, not just Trail.  I wish Trail could stop thinking this way.

It is important to note there was a fundamental change a few years ago with the CBT Granting process.  At one time the money came into one pot and we sat as a group to jointly consider projects. The decisions were made by the seven RDKB Directors that represented the Lower Columbia Communities.

Then the RDKB Board decided that we should split the money and divide it separately among the communities.

This makes it really hard on the applicants who must go to each community meeting when a potential project has a possible benefit to multiple communities.

That could mean seven different meetings on seven different nights.  Every year I have suggested that we go back to the original model.

Then the entire Lower Columbia communities can jointly consider what projects make sense to fund when there is a broad community impact, with each of the Regional Reps having a vote.

We could go back to a time when we could jointly and fully fund projects that would benefit all of us.

What happens now is that one community can partially fund a project, thinking that other communities will fund also, as the applicant has applied to multiple communities.

Often the result is that the project gets partially funded and is unable to move forward, so they end up with no grant money. That money goes back into the pot, when it should have been used in that year.

We pool our money in the Beaver Valley and fund projects jointly. It works really well.

Again, I ask Trail and the other communities to reconsider our model and do what is best for the applicants and for the Lower Columbia Communities.  The focus for CBT should be on what is best for all of our communities, and not about the power for one.

Ali Grieve

Area A director

Beaver Valley