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Central Otago’s community boards spent the past fortnight dealing with a contestable grant system which represents a shift in how applications for funding are considered and approved.

The Central Otago District Council’s (CODC) contestable system allocates grants on the basis of four criteria – termed “well-beings” for communities – social, economic, cultural and environmental.

What that meant for the community boards was a rethink of how to apply those criteria to the applications, leading to some projects being funded while others were sent back to the drawing board.

The first of the four boards to meet and consider grants under the new framework was the Vincent Community Board.

CODC community development officer Nikki Aaron told the October 11 meeting of the board the ward had attracted the most new applicants of the four.

The initial three years of funding had been reviewed by the council which now would only allocate grants for one year, and a new funding round would open in March, she said.

The Alexandra District Museum was granted $61,758 following a hardship grant for $18,242.

The Shaky Bridge Reserve group received $9393 for planting and Keep Alexandra Clyde Beautiful was granted $2500 from the $8475 it requested.

The Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust received $5450 to expand a native plant nursery.

The Galloway and Earnscleugh halls were given $5000 and $1500 respectively.

The Alexandra Community Advice Network received $4000, Alexandra and Districts Youth Trust received $6000, and the Salvation Army was granted $297.

Three days later the Maniototo Community Board granted the Naseby Information Centre $4000 for operational costs, against the council’s recommendation.

A grant was also given to the Maniototo Early Settlers Association – $8332 from a requested $10,000.

Some $2500 for reroofing Oturehua community swimming pool was also granted.

On October 19 it was the turn of the Cromwell Community Board to allocate funds before the next round.

A $20,000 project for a community tool shed at McNulty Inlet by Lake Dunstan Charitable Trust was boosted by $8580 to purchase and fit out a 3m container near the inlet toilets.

The board also agreed to repay $4937 for the Cromwell Lions and Rotary Club’s charity house-build in council consent fees.

At the Teviot Valley Community Board on October 21, the organisers of March’s Cavalcade, to be hosted in Miller’s Flat, were granted $2500 from the reserve funds towards hiring a marquee following a late application.

The Teviot Valley Cherry Chaos event management and marketing group was granted $500 for its January 8 and 9 event.

Finally the Roxburgh Pioneer Energy Brass Band was granted $1500 from an application of $2000.