In granting financial assistance by allowing the use of city property by community organizations, the City is seeking to:
- Support the provision of facilities for cultural, recreational, and athletic activities, including facilities that:
- provide opportunities for community social functions; (eg. Kinsmen Hall)
- provide opportunities for family oriented leisure activities;
- provide preschool leisure opportunities;
- are used to provide leisure skill development and leisure activities for school aged children and adults; (eg. Connaught Youth Centre)
- are used to provide social opportunities for teens;
- provide leisure opportunities for senior citizens: (eg. Brunswick St. Centre)
- Support the preservation of the community's heritage; (eg. FFG Museum)
- Support the preservation of natural amenities within the community; (eg. Nechako Fish Hatchery)
- Support the provision of volunteer sector services. (eg. United Way)
To help the City determine if the use of city property is appropriate, the community organization must:
- demonstrate that the organization's activities contribute to the attainment of the above objectives;
- demonstrate that there is a need for City financial assistance;
- demonstrate that there is an unmet community need for the project or program;
- demonstrate that the project or program will produce community benefits;
- demonstrate the ability to manage and finance the project or program;
- demonstrate that they have implemented acceptable standards of governance and accountability;
- demonstrate partnerships, cooperation or coordination with other community organizations;
- demonstrate compliance with applicable federal, provincial and municipal bylaws, rules, regulations;
- have policies in place regarding harassment and abuse;
- have a program of community outreach, so that intended participation will be aware of the program;
- have an inclusive approach to the provision of services and programs;
- be prepared to participate in an evaluation of the program or project if called upon by the city to do so;
- account for the use of public funds, by providing appropriate financial statements if called upon by the city to do so;
- be a registered non-profit organization in good standing with the registrar.
Community Organization - a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of providing cultural, heritage, preservation, recreation, and volunteer activities.
- Community organizations wishing to secure the use of city property to develop a project or operate programs from an existing facility should signal their intent in writing to the Real Estate Services Division. RES will turn the request over to the department responsible for determining use of the particular parcel of land. If the department determines the request has merit, the organization will asked to submit a proposal outlining how their request meets the city's objectives.
- The responsible department will circulate the proposal to other city departments for comment. The applicant may be required to make a presentation to administration.
- The applicant will then be provided a written response from the department outlining the next steps.
- The responsible department will prepare a report for Council's consideration. The report will include a summary of the financial assistance being requested (i.e. property value, tax exemption, etc.).
- If Council agrees with the proposed use, the City and applicant will enter into necessary agreements. One agreement for use and occupancy of the property and another if the property is to be improved initially in any fashion by the applicant. Future improvements are handled within the agreement for use.
- The Local Government Act requires that Council authorize tax exemptions by bylaw approved by a two-thirds majority of all council members. The Act also requires the City to advertise it's intent to enter into an agreement with a non-profit organization for use of city property.
- The standard agreement for use and occupancy will be for a maximum of five years. An option to renew, based on mutual agreement by both parties can be considered. Applicants requiring a term beyond five years must demonstrate the need for this.
- The City's 1986 Parks Master Plan provide some guidance in determining types and standards of park land (i.e. City Athletic, City Passive, District Athletic) in which community organization requests can be considered. In addition where possible, like uses should be accommodate at one site for ease of program delivery.