Canada Day committee requesting additional dollars

Lisa
Lisa Goudy
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Herb Linsley, vice-chairman of the Canada Day committee, (left) and Russ McKnight, chairman of the Canada Day committee make a presentation to budget committee asking for additional funding in the 2014 operating budget at the Dec. 9, 2013 meeting.

The Moose Jaw Canada Day committee is looking for more city funding in 2014.

“Our costs have gone up considerably the last few years and even though the costs for our fireworks are covered by our contractor, we are required by the city to have additional insurance,” said Russ McKnight, chairman of the committee.

“It’s getting tougher all the time for the volunteers to fundraise,” added Herb Linsley, vice-chairman of the committee.

McKnight and Linsley made their request for additional funding at Monday’s budget committee meeting.

In the 2013 budget, the committee had $1,713. For 2014, they are looking for a two per cent increase to have total funding of $2,250. The committee uses city funding to cover part of the annual liability coverage for the event.

The initial grant was approved in 2004 in the amount of $1,600. Since that time, the liability coverage costs have increased to $2,250 over the past two years. Linsley said in his letter to council that it’s getting harder to fundraise money with a “small, but hard-working committee.” There are six people on the committee.

The committee is looking for an increase of $650 from the initial grant to cover the increased costs.

“I’m curious as to how do you fundraise and that’s just a curiosity question,” said Coun. Candis Kirkpatrick.

McKnight said last year, the committee held a concert with the Uncoolas that “went over quite well.” There are also steak nights and collection tins in several restaurants around the city. The committee has raised $815.94 from the tins.

He added the fireworks costs have gone down. A few years ago it cost $20,000 for fireworks and last year it was $12,600.

“Part of the reason that we ask for the insurance is to make sure all of those volunteers are covered, especially when you’re dealing with fireworks,” said city manager Matt Noble. “It’s in the interest of everybody. That’s how you preserve your volunteers by not exposing them to high-degree risk.”

Budget committee will deliberate further on the committee’s request during the upcoming full-day budget sessions on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Scoop Lewry Room at city hall.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

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