MacBride Museum will not receive the $60,000 it had planned to spend on programming after being left off the recipient list for recreation grants by city council on May 6. Mayor Dan Curtis said the recreation grant policy is clear that anyone in arrears with the city is not eligible for the grants. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

City turns down recreation grant funding for MacBride museum

Policy states grants won’t go to groups owing the city taxes, mayor explains

MacBride Museum is without $60,000 it had planned to spend on programming.

Whitehorse city council approved $147,176 in spring recreation grants on May 6, leaving MacBride off the list of recipients after the museum had applied for funding.

In an interview following the meeting, Mayor Dan Curtis said the recreation grant policy is clear that any organization in arrears with the city is not eligible for the grants.

“It is what it is,” he said, adding city staff made sure museum officials were informed in 2018 after taxes were due that it would not be eligible for a grant if its taxes weren’t paid.

MacBride is facing property tax bills totaling $154,000 for 2018 and 2019, though it is the $64,000 2018 bill that is in arrears. This year’s property taxes are due July 2.

Last year was the first year the museum was faced with an amount owing on its property taxes after the city capped its grant- in-lieu of taxes program, which provides grants to non-profits for a portion or the full amount of property taxes for the year.

With core funding from the Yukon government totaling about $182,000 per year, the museum society says it doesn’t have the funds to pay taxes and operate the museum as it does now.

Officials with the museum have also said the recreation grant is used for programs like Way Back Wednesdays, the Young Explorers preschool program and its popular summer day camps.

Curtis said administration made sure MacBride officials were aware of the policy governing who is eligible for the grants.

No efforts were made to pay the tax bill, Curtis said.

Under the grants that were approved, 20 organizations will receive $69,465 for their recreational programs, five parks and recreational facilities will receive $31,600 and four arts and cultural facilities will get $34,352.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

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