August 15, 2013 | Volume 43, Number 32

Assembly approves community donations

On a 5-1 vote, the Haines Borough Assembly Tuesday approved more than $100,000 in grants to local non-profits. The borough had set aside about $130,000 for gift-giving.

Contributions from the borough’s general fund included Haines Friends of Recycling, $4,887; Chilkat Valley Preschool, $11,010; Southeast Senior Services, $6,176; Haines Dolphins Swim Team, $3,184; Lynn Canal Broadcasting, $1,378; American Bald Eagle Foundation, $743; and the Takshanuk Watershed Council Invasive Species program, $5,063.

Contributions from the borough’s medical service area included ones to Lynn Canal Counseling, $25,500, and Southeast Alaska Independent Living, $3,250.

Money from federal forest receipts will go toward the Takshanuk Watershed Council’s Living in the Forest program, $29,959 and the Venturer Scouts for pulling weeds (of invasive species), $550.

Contributions from the borough’s economic development and tourism fund include $17,000 for the Southeast Alaska State Fair and $500 to the Chilkat Snowburners, who host the annual Alcan snowmachine race.

Recommendations adopted by the assembly were made by an ad-hoc Non-profit Funding Committee comprised of borough fiscal chief Jila Stuart, assistant to the manager Darsie Culbeck, Mayor Stephanie Scott and assembly members Joanne Waterman and Dave Berry.

Lapp, who voted against the recommendations, said he didn’t agree with a reduced contribution to the snowmachine club while other groups like Takshanuk Watershed Council received “an awful lot of money,” he said.

In an interview, Scott defended the group’s work, saying criteria added to the decision process this year included evidence of public support and community impact.

“People basically have to compete for these funds. We didn’t give any money to the Chilkat Valley Community Foundation because we decided it wasn’t a service. We wanted to fund legitimate, government public services that we’re not providing now as the government,” Scott said.

The group will meet again to further refine the decision-making matrix, Scott said.