Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
The city’s disaster relief committee poses for a photo Friday afternoon.
The city’s disaster relief committee has now met face-to-face.
The 10-member group in charge of raising and distributing funds to people affected by last month’s flood got together Friday to figure out how they are going to maximize the city’s disaster relief fund. Chair Wayne Fletcher said fundraising is priority one.
“We want to be able to get access to the provincial money as quick as we can and start that flowing so we can help individuals,” he said.
The provincial money, up to $16 million, will be distributed through the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program.
While most of the members have extensive fundraising experience, Fletcher said the meetings Friday were all about how the committee will work and discussing the process with provincial officials.
“How are we actually going to do what we have to do and what are the rules and guidelines that are set up by the government,” he said.
Fletcher said another major challenge will be figuring out how to distribute that funding to uninsured or underinsured people in the community.
City clerk John Hannam said the amount of funding from the province, which could be as much as two to one, will depend on the amount of claims the committee sees and how much they’re worth, which hasn’t been estimated yet.
“If the claims volume is such that we need the full two to one funding then that’s what we’ll get from the province,” he said.
As for money already raised by the Red Cross and Salvation Army, some of that has already been spent on immediate relief. The remaining money from those organizations could be eligible to be thrown into the disaster fund. Hannam said discussions with the agencies are ongoing.
Claim forms will be available at public meetings at the Slovak Legion and Moose Hall June 23.