Community garden program expansion proposed

The District of Houston is applying for a grant in partnership with the Houston Harm Reduction Committee to expand what’s offered at the existing community gardens.

With the recent expansion of a community garden among low income housing, the intent now is to provide programs encouraging growing and cooking of healthy food as well as exercise classes such as yoga or Zumba, wrote District grant writer Holly Brown in a memo to council.

Financing that would come from a $5,000 grant under the provincial Plan H Health Communities Grant Program.

Although an initiative of the harm reduction committee, the application has to made through the District which would then forward the money to the harm reduction committee.

“Community gardens are supportive of food production and supporting low income families in the community, which aids our community sustainability,” Brown wrote.

While the community garden provides community connectiveness for low income families, there are no restrictions on access and the project can be beneficial for the entire community, she added.

Grant writer policy defined

Council has further defined the District’s grant writer position which was added to District’s services last year.

The grant writer works in two streams, one for District projects which need an outside source to come about and one to write applications on behalf of the community.

The latter service is available to community groups and organizations, non-profits and charities with the stipulation that proposed projects or activities be a benefit to the community for its development and sustainability, are free of discrimination and exclusivity and support economic diversification.

Applications from groups don’t require a Council support resolution unless the grant being applied for requires one as part of the application.

Arena door replacement on track

Replacement of the front doors at the Claude Parish Memporial Arena is still going ahead and is now scheduled to happen by September.

District leisure services director Tasha Kelly first identified the issue in February, telling council only one for the four doors now works properly.

The ground at the entrance way shifts throughout the year, putting pressure on the door frames, Kelly said.

Replacement was considered preferable to having constant maintenance.

The new doors, like the current ones, will have automatic openers making them easy to use by people with physical limitations.

Rescue truck expected by October

The projected date for the arrival of the fire department’s new rescue truck has been pushed back from August to October.

Purchase approval for the $361,610 truck was given by council last December, part of the District’s overall policy of replacing existing equipment and assets as they become dated or approach the end of their useful service.

Among the items on the new vehicle will be four LED lights to illuminate surroundings to aid crew members, a Hurst E Rescue system commonly called the Jaws of Life and winches as well as a compressed air foam dispersal system.

The vehicle is coming from Hub Fire Engines of Abbotsford.

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