August 06, 2015 - 9:00 PM
PENTICTON - A Challenge Penticton request for sponsorship was stopped dead in its tracks after the group submitted the request late, and the regional district revised its policy.
Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen board members voted unanimously against a July 16 request from Challenge Penticton owners Kevin Cutjar and Michael Brown for $48,000 over three years as part of a sponsorship agreement.The request was for $14,000 this year, $16,000 next year and $18,000 in 2017.
Chief Administrative Officer Bill Newell told the board the district didn’t have a means through which the money could be provided, as the race is now a private enterprise. He said if the board had the will, an economic development fund could be created to provide sponsorships, but presently the district provides grants only to societies through its grants policy.
In past years, the regional district had provided grants to the race in one-off propositions, as Electoral Area D Director Tom Siddon pointed out. He said it troubled him not to be able to take part in helping make the race a success through a sponsorship of some kind but Naramata Director Karla Kozackevich noted providing the funds would be going against grant policy established earlier this year, which limited organizations to two grants in a four year period.
“Just imagine what happens if this company makes a profit, $13,000 next year. It would be very easy to say, ‘you just turned around and gave these guys $13,000'," West Bench Director Michael Brydon said, pointing to a lack of transparency and a potential for negative consequences in providing the funds, although he, too, said he would like to support the race. "Without access to books, for that very simple reason, I don’t think we can do this. We don’t have any transparency as to where our money is going.”
The staff report also noted it was too late in this year’s budget cycle to requisition the funds.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015