Eganville – Bonnechere Valley will not be contributing $5,000 to the Renfrew County Ontario Winter Games 2023, although the township may provide some in-kind services including the loan of a fire department SUV.
“There are other ways we can help,” Mayor Jennifer Murphy said during her preamble comments as the requested donation was discussed last Tuesday.
“I was thinking of innovative ways of donating,” she added.
The mayor, who serves as the finance chair for the winter games, was responding to a request which was made at the previous meeting of council. A delegation from the winter games asked for a donation of $5,000, or whatever amount the municipality could contribute as well as the loan of a truck and operator, sandwich boards and possibly outdoor heaters.
Councillor Tim Schison asked for more information about the budget of the games. Mayor Murphy said the budget is $1.4 million less a $100,000 legacy fund, so there is about $1.3 to use for the games.
“Contributions from us I don’t think are necessary,” he said.
Looking back at the International Plowing Match, a lot of businesses were supporting it and involved, he said.
“BV is not even on the map with these games,” he said.
However, CAO Annette Gilchrist had a different opinion.
“There will be a benefit with things happening so close at Opeongo High School,” she said.
“I think it is important to support with our youth,” she said.
While a donation did not have to be $5,000, there could be a financial contribution.
“Our symbol would be on the welcome sign,” she said.
Coun. Schison pointed out with provincial funding, BV taxpayers already contributed to the $1.3 million from the province.
Mayor Murphy said the need for transportation is huge and the municipality could help by contributing one of the two SUVs the fire department has as a loan.
“We don’t provide stuff to help seniors with drives,” countered Councillor Brent Patrick. “I don’t agree with a monetary contribution for it.”
He also noted having the road staff help with a roads truck and driver when the township is already short staffed doesn’t make sense.
Mayor Murphy agreed having a roads employee would be tricky.
“If it is a bad weather weekend, we would have to pull the driver,” she said.
Councillor Jack Rosner said if the fire department SUV is loaned, it should only be one SUV and not both.
Mrs. Gilchrist pushed for a financial donation.
“I would like to see some contribution, even if it is $1,000 for marketing the games,” she said.
Mayor Murphy said the games are still looking for private sponsors as well.
Coun. Patrick suggested the municipality can contribute by advertising on the digital sign and also through social media.
“There is value to all of it,” agreed Mayor Murphy. “Advertising on our sign. Advertising on Facebook.”
Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader