Council considers funding request from Harriston Historical Society

MINTO – Town council is considering a request from the Harriston Historical Society for financial assistance with two projects.

The society plans to reprint the History of Harriston book for distribution during the Town of Minto’s 25th anniversary year in 2024.

“Preserving our history is an important element for our community, now and for future generations,” states a letter from the society received at the April 2 council meeting.

“There have been many requests over the years for a copy of the book, but supplies were exhausted years ago.”

The local history book, by Harriston resident Judy Tuck, was originally printed in 1978.

The society requested council contribute $1,000 toward the estimated $2,200 cost of printing 100 of the books.

The society is also requesting the town provide $300 toward prizes for the eighth annual Headstone Hunt contest, which the town has supported financially in the past.

Councillor Judy Dirksen asked if support for the Headstone Hunt was included in the 2024 budget for the Town of Minto Cultural Roundtable. 

Treasurer Gordon Duff confirmed no funds for the event were included in the committee’s budget for 2024, although they had been in the past.

Councillor Ron Elliott asked if council could consider allocating $500 for the book project this year “to get them over the hump” and provide the balance in the following year’s budget?

“Or would it be better to try and find it all now?” he asked.

“I think what they’re wishing to do though, is to do that in the 25th anniversary of Minto year, which is now, so waiting until next year isn’t going to be as helpful as getting it done now,” said Dirksen.

She asked if the funds could be provided as a loan, which the society could pay back from the proceeds of book sales.

“Because I think 100 books should go pretty quickly,” she said.

Dirksen noted the Headstone Hunt is a popular event, which draws people to the community and she suggested it may be possible to find private donations for the project.

Deputy Mayor Jean Anderson asked if an entry fee could be charged for the contest to help fund prize money.

Councillor Geoff Gunson asked if the historical society could apply to be a recipient of funds from the Minto Mayor’s Charity Golf Tournament.

“Possibly next year,” said Mayor Dave Turton, noting funds from the 2024 tournament have already been designated.

“But it’s a good thought,” he added.

Turton suggested council obtain more information before making a decision on the request.

A motion directing staff to prepare a report for consideration at a future meeting was approved.