Outside agencies may have to brace for funding cuts

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Cornwall city hall

Outside agencies looking for funding out of city hall may have to prepare for a new reality during the 2013 budget debate.

After city council effectively closed the door on a $500,000 funding request from the Cornwall Community Hospital Foundation at its last meeting, some councillors have sharpened their knives in anticipation of making cuts to other funding requests from outside groups.

"We're not a bank," said Coun. Denis Carr. "All of these are valuable community responsibilities.

"But we have our own areas that we are responsible for."

Nearly 20 outside agencies and community are lining up to make funding pitches to city councillors that add up to a little more than $700,000 - which is 31 per cent more than the $561,000 city hall doled out last year.

Coun. Denis Thibault said enough is enough in an interview with Seaway News.

"I will not consider any new ones," he said of groups coming to council for the first time looking for money, or those who didn't make funding requests last year. "And I'm not in support of increases either."

Thibault wants to see the ceiling spent on outside angenices dropped to $500,000 - a reduction of $61,000 compared to last year.

"We have no choice, we have to find places to cut," he added.

There are several new groups on the list looking for $146,500 in funding that wasn't spent last year, including the Agape Centre ($60,000), Beyond 21 ($30,000), Parade of Nations ($12,000), CNIB ($12,000), St. Lawrence Genealogy Centre ($12,000), Seaway Valley Theatre Company ($8,500), Creative Expressions ($5,000), Mad Hatter Productions ($5,000) and the Ontario Senior Games ($4,000).

The funding envelope for 2013 for outside agencies is expectd to remain the same as last year.

The SD and G Historical Society will be asking for $114,208 this year - a two per cent increase.

The Centre Culturel de Cornwall is looking for $43,400 this year, a $27,400 increase from 2012.

Other agencies that have matched their funding request from 2012 include Cornwall and Seaway Valley Tourism ($181,144), Aultsville Theatre ($97,000), Cornwall Regional Art Gallery ($70,000), Centre Charles Emile-Claude ($30,000) and Seaway Senior Citizens Club ($30,000).

Groupe Renaissance reduced its request by $5,000 to $15,000, while Skate Cornwall dropped its $5,000 request all together.

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