NORTH BATTLEFORD - Changes are coming to the current Sask. Lotteries Community Grant Adjudication Committee.
At the council meeting Monday night, council voted to dissolve the committee and replace it with a new Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee, effective April 1.
Parks and Recreation had been the mandate of the committee up until 2019, which included adjudication of Sask Lotteries grant requests.
It was on March 31, 2019 that the then-titled Leisure Services Advisory Committee was dissolved and replaced by the Sask. Lotteries committee. The new committee focused almost exclusively on the adjudication of Sask Lotteries grants, a decision made due to the volume of applications being received.
But Director of Parks and Recreation Cheryl DeNeire noted to council there has been a reduction in the volume of applications due to COVID-19, and an increase in the challenges associated to programs and service delivery post-pandemic.
As a result, the recommendation was to dissolve the current Sask Lotteries committee and replace it with the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee. The new committee will continue adjudicating Sask. Lotteries Community Grant Program applications, but also form an advisory role with respect to parks and recreation efforts in the city.
Councillor Kelli Hawtin chairs the Sask. Lotteries Community Grant Adjudication Committee and said she welcomed the changes.
Hawtin noted that during the post-Covid era the grant adjudication had shrunk, but she noted there was “a challenging time keeping our committee members engaged, just dealing with grant applications.”
She also noted some committee members had lost their enthusiasm under the new structure. “They want to be part of shaping parks and recreation in our community. That’s why people want to be part of that discussion, they want to be part of the community and contribute into those ideas.”
Hawtin also noted that at recent meetings they added a “blue sky” discussion session that produced some good ideas, with issues coming to the attention of the city and being addressed.
“We’ve got some really core members who want to be part of positive change for user services,” said Hawtin. She also wanted to see youth have a voice on the committee as well.
Mayor David Gillan said he was “supportive of the direction, I think it’s the right way to go.” The change to the new committee passed unanimously.