Perth Mayor John Fenik feels that there may yet be hope for Lanark County Interval House’s funding woes.
On Oct. 10, the county council’s community services committee requested that Interval House’s funding request for sustainable funding be included in the 2013 budget process, but the request was then defeated by a single vote on Oct. 24.
“If they (county council) cannot see that this is a good group to support then we have lost our way,” said Fenik.
Other members of council voiced their frustration at the situation for the emergency home for abused women and their children.
“If every level refers them on to the next level (of government or bureaucracy) that could be time that could be spent with clients. I don’t want it to be forever postponed,” said Coun. Beth Peterkin during the Perth town council committee-of-the-whole meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Interval House faces a deficit of $59,000 this year following the ending of programming money from the provincial government. The house has been asking for $5,000 from larger municipalities like Perth and Carleton Place, and $3,000 from smaller areas like Tay Valley and Montague Township, to partially bridge the gap. In the past few months, many councils have told Interval House that the issue should be taken up with the county council first. After their presentation to Perth town council earlier this year, Fenik told Interval House that if they were not successful at county council, that they were welcome to return to Perth council.
“It seems to me that it is the disadvantaged groups (that) are passed aside the easiest,” said Fenik. “It was tabled that the county fund this (Interval House). Then there was a motion for it to go to the budget process.”
Fenik believes that the reasons behind this are because of a hard line being taken at county council, that “we (county council) are no longer going to grand any of these groups (money),” said Fenik. “(But) I am thinking there may be some hope. It is not a done deal yet. We may have another kick at the can.”
Fenik added that he does not like what he sees going on at the county council chambers on Sunset Boulevard.
“County council (is) marching down a very dark road,” said Fenik. “I am feeling that county council is fractured… that is now how county council should work. (It is) a very fractured, divisive council. That is not a good council to be on.”
He added that elections for a warden will be held in December.