Minto approves COVID-19 relief grant for historical society

MINTO – The Harriston Historical Society will receive a $2,500 grant from the Town of Minto to help offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the organization.

Council approved the grant from a pool of pandemic relief funding on Dec. 7 after receiving a written request for assistance from the society.

Assistance to community groups impacted by the pandemic was one of several uses designated by council in July for about $235,000 remaining at the time from funds the town received through the federal/provincial Safe Restart Agreement.

“Since March of 2020 the COVID-19 shutdowns have impacted our sources of revenue,” stated society co-chair Willa Wick in a letter to council. 

“Without our donations, sales, presentations, and exhibits,” plus barbecues at the annual Harriston Street Party in August, Wick said the group has experienced losses of more than $2,500.”

The letter adds, “We are thankful the municipality financed our monthly rent (for the society’s space at the Harriston branch of the Wellington County Library) for the past year, and it is recognized that we must once again assume this rent ourselves.

“The historical society is therefore asking for financial consideration from the COVID-19 relief fund which will assist us in our mandate to preserve and showcase local history.”

A motion to provide the requested funding was approved unanimously.

Councillor Mark MacKenzie, a member of the historical society, declared a conflict of interest and did not participate in the vote or discussion.