A suburban rejuvenation project forced to spend all its
funding in an allotted time frame would have benefited if
communities were able to eke out money for as long as
possible, its project manager says.
The three-year Brockville Community Development Project winds
up at the end of next month, when project co-ordinator Marie
Laufiso's job ends.
The project, which applied unsuccessfully for an extra year's
funding, received $240,000 community development funding over
three years from the Department of Internal Affairs.
Project manager Andrew Scott said it took a few months at the
start to decide how to spend the money, after which Ms
Laufiso was hired.
''So we spent three years' money in two and-a-half years.
''We were told tough, that's how it is.''
Those involved with the project were new to community
rejuvenation and wanted to do their homework before spending
Leftover money from the first year had to be spent by the end
of the second.
The project used the $40,000 for various initiatives,
including community hui, clean-up days and, after obtaining
special permission, computers for the community.
Despite his misgivings, Mr Scott was enthusiastic about the
project's benefits, saying it boosted communication in the
Most initiatives, including a newsletter, would transfer to
other groups, such as local churches.
Such a project really needed about five years' operational
time to gain long-term traction, he said.
''We think if we had been told `you have $240,000 to use over
three years and if you can push it out, that's fine, too', we
think we could have got four years with judicious use of
In response, Department of Internal Affairs communications
account manager Michael Mead said groups were expected to
spend a significant portion of the money on a staff member.
''Like other groups who received community development scheme
funding, Brockville ... had to balance funding a worker
against achieving annual project results; the department
encouraged the group to achieve the annual results.
''The Brockville [group] applied for an additional year's
funding, but their application was declined when compared to
other applications from other groups,'' Mr Mead said.