Downtown Pride Funds to aid victims of High Street fire

Lisa Goudy
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Firefighters battled the blaze from every angle as it raged on along the zero block of High Street West into Thursday morning.

The remaining Moose Jaw Downtown Pride Funds will help victims of the March 12 High Street fire.

At Monday’s executive committee meeting, executive voted in favour of transferring the $30,046.10 from the fund to the Salvation Army to provide assistance to those people affected by the fire on the historic Jubilee block on the zero block of High Street West. The fire displaced 20 people, many of whom lost everything.

The fund was originally meant to collect donations to rebuild the buildings destroyed in the 2004 New Year’s Day fire at the corner of River Street and Main Street. The funds were deemed a municipal project.

“Some of the money did go to that purpose as businesses rebuilt there, but in light of recent events, the human needs would seem to be larger than those of brick and mortar,” said a letter from Barrie Vice, Rob Clark and Brian Martynook, representatives of the fund.

“The money would be administered and allocated through the Salvation Army who is on the front line of the relief efforts. We would (rely) on their expertise, vision and integrity to ensure the money landed with those who need it most to get back on their feet.”

According to the Canada Revenue Agency, there are several regulations regarding the use of funds collected for a municipal project where charitable tax receipts are issued.

Those funds can be used for their original purpose, returned to donors or shifted to another charitable organization with the intent of using it for a charitable purpose.

Because council designated the funds a municipal project at the Jan. 26, 2004 meeting, council approval is required to change the usage of the funds.

New development has occurred at the New Year’s Day fire location and so the funds aren’t required for their original purpose, according to a report from the city clerk/solicitor’s department.

“There’s two major impacts, one on the residents and on the commercial properties,” said Coun. Don Mitchell. “In terms at distribution of funds, we’re primarily looking at the situation of the residents.”

The motion was passed unanimously.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Salvation Army, Rob Clark and Brian Martynook, Canada Revenue Agency

Geographic location: High Street West, River Street

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