Champlain council defeated a motion which would have allowed councillors to give up to $1,000 of unused expense allotment to a not-for-profit organization.
L’Orignal Councillor Paul Burroughs made the suggestion and asked for it to be added to the October 26 council agenda.
Burroughs said the extra funds could help local organizations when unforeseen events cause hardship in local organizations.
L’Orignal Councillor André Roy pointed out that the township already gives a lot of taxpayer dollars to local not-for-profit organizations. Roy was referring to the annual Champlain Community grants, for which local organizations must apply each year.
If there are unused expense funds, Roy said they could be used by the municipality for its own unexpected expenses or shortfalls which might occur during the year.
West Hawkesbury Councillor Gerard Miner reminded council that the expense fund was there to encourage council to attend conferences and do additional training. Miner said that reallocating council expense funds would be taking a part of the budget that was created for one thing and using it for another.
Vankleek Hill Councillor Paul Emile Duval asked if such a move was legal. Champlain CAO Kevin Tessier said it was, adding that if the resolution was approved, a policy would have to be put in place to govern councillors making a donation from their budgetary ‘envelope.’
Tessier reminded council that the township has a good policy in place for community grants.
“I think we would be opening the door to other problems,” Roy said.
The motion was defeated.