When Grimsby’s Happening at The Forty was snuffed out by its own organizing committee last year, the consensus seemed to be taking a year off and launching a new went for 2020 was the most likely outcome.
In January, a working group started a planning process for a simplified, one-day event which would put together interested parties experienced in community events: the idea was to simply bridge the gap until a better rounded event could be planned for the following year.
Initially, the committee had chosen to go with a whole new look and branding behind the GrimsBerry Festival, which would be held on the third weekend of June this year.
At Monday’s meeting of Grimsby council, Coun. Dave Sharpe said he did not like the name and was concerned about spending Town dollars to support an event being run by FORT, Foundation of Resources for Teens.
While Coun. Randy Vaine, who has been sitting on the steering committee, explained to Sharpe the group had already agreed to change to the name to the Happening in Grimsby – done to allow for continuation of an $11,000 federal event grant.
The name had to be similar to remain grant eligible. The grant was the financial support involved. No Town dollars were going to the event.
As for FORT, it was noted that volunteers from that organization were on the committee and they had planned to operate a strawberry sundae booth – similar to Winona Men’s Club’s booth at the Peach Festival – but the event would include lots of options for all community groups and clubs to promote themselves and fundraise if they chose, said Vaine.
Vaine also pointed out, that some aspects of the event would raise funds for the event itself since all the seed money which would normally provide the base for an annual event budget had been given away last summer when the previous committee voted to disband and give away the seed money.
Mayor Jeff Jordan said he was pleased to see a group of volunteers step up to keep the summer event tradition alive.
“The Happening in Grimsby is a great way to go and I look forward to seeing everyone there on June 21,” said Jordan.
Grimsby director of finance Steve Gruninger gave council an overview of the upcoming budget process ahead of them.
Gruninger said all department budgets have been done in first draft, except recreation services, which is expected this week.
March 21 will be the first committee of the whole meeting for council to get a good look at what faces them, he added.
Mayor Jeff Jordan noted that while things are a bit slow in coming together right now, the process will be fine tuned when the wheels get rolling again in the fall as the 2020 budget will be done before the year end.
“We are aiming to our 2020 budget done in December, so this is the first of two budgets this year,” said Jordan.
REGION at 3.8%
Reg. Coun. Wayne Fertich said cuts in the police and NPCA budgets helped Niagara Region get down to a 3.8 per cent increase proposal.
This represents $56 on taxes for the regional portion on an average assessed home.
This will include $10 million for the Casablanca Boulevard road widening and $11.5 million for expansion at the Grimsby Water Treatment Plant.