July 16th, 2018

Environment Lethbridge secures funding


By Schnarr, J.W. on June 16, 2018.

J.W. Schnarr

Lethbridge Herald

jwschnarr@lethbridgeherald.com

Environment Lethbridge has secured funding for the rest of the year and has officially made a request for funding to deliver programming for the next four years.

Kathleen Sheppard, executive director for Environment Lethbridge, appeared as a delegation at city council’s regular meeting on Monday to make the request.

Following discussion, council voted unanimously to provide bridge funding for the remainder of the year and to accept the longer request for budget deliberation.

The two-part funding request included $33,000 in immediate funding and another $270,000 for funding over the next four years – 2019 to 2022 – to be considered during the next budget cycle.

The organization also raises a substantial amount of funding outside municipal funding. Sheppard told council the goal is to increase external funding while decreasing City funding.

There are three main strategies for this: achieve status as a charitable organization, which will open new avenues in grant and individual funding; look into opportunities for sponsorship funding; and look into be opportunities for fee-for-service earned revenue.

She told council the municipal funding will allow the organization to raise more money from outside sources.

“We project this will give us a target to leverage over $687,000 over that four-year period,” Sheppard said. “And allow us to continue and expand our existing programs.

Following the presentation, Sheppard said the organization works to provide information to the community on sustainability.

“This will allow us to continue to offer the great programs we’ve been able to deliver over the past three years,” she said.

“I feel like Environment Lethbridge’s role is really to provide good quality information to the residents of Lethbridge and provide options for action whether that action is in people’s households, in businesses, or for the city as a whole. Certainly the adoption of curbside recycling was something we were really excited about the past three years. But were really seeing increased awareness around the city.”

She said efforts by the community such as discussions on moving away from plastic drinking straws show an increased awareness by local residents.

Speaking in support of the organization, Mayor Chris Spearman said there was very little progress on environmental issues.

“Now we have a catalyst that basically brings environmental consciousness to the fore in our community,” he said. “And promotes the involvement of the citizens of Lethbridge in environmental initiatives.”

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