In June 2021, the Village of Burns Lake was given funding from the Non-profit Society Recovery grant, which was opened for applications from local organizations who needed financial assistance due to COVID-19.
To date, four applications have been received and approved by council, each receiving $5,000 in relief funding. The applications were made by the Burns Lake Public Library, the Burns Lake Curling Club, the Lakes District Film Appreciation Society and the Lakes District Family Enhancement Society.
Each organization was presented a cheque by the mayor on Sept. 24.
As a result of the disbursements, $50,000 still remains un-allocated in the relief fund, and the fund is currently set up to stay open until the money is depleted. Council had discussions in a Sept. 28 meeting on how to put the remaining funds to good use, due to the fact that there has been a lack of applications.
The main reason why there has been a low number of applications is that the criteria for the grant is limited to organizations that fall within the Village of Burns Lake limits, and the fact is there simply isn’t a high number of non-profits operating within the municipal boundary.
Another reason is due to the fact that many organizations have applied through other grant opportunities for COVID-19 relief funding.
Rather then closing the fund, council discussed ways to use the remaining funds and keep the grant going. One idea was to open up criteria to expand to businesses that offer programming for Burns Lake residents such as the Burns Lake Snowmobile Club and Ride Burns. After discussions though, it was decided to instead focus on the criteria for location limits as opposed to types of businesses and organizations.
Ultimately, a motion was carried for council to review the guidelines and see if it’s possible to expand the criteria to include other non-profits that are located outside of village limits that need relief funds.
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