Financial Assistance Distribution For Flood Victims In Bracebridge

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Photo Credit Phil Harding

As a result of significant rainfall and snow melt, the Muskoka River watershed experienced historically high water elevations in the spring of this year.
In response to significant flooding within the Town of Bracebridge, a State of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, 1990 was declared for the Town of Bracebridge by Mayor Graydon Smith on April 23, 2019. In the days and weeks to follow, over 1,000 properties were impacted by the flooding.
On May 3, 2019, the Town began collecting donations from generous individuals and organizations that wished to make a financial contribution to Bracebridge residents that were impacted by the 2019 flood event. In total, over $47,000 was donated to the Town to support those impacted by the record flooding.
On July 3, 2019, Council authorized the establishment of a 2019 Flood Relief Committee to facilitate the distribution of donations received to those impacted by the 2019 Flood Event. The 2019 Flood Relief Committee was established and held its inaugural meeting on August 1, 2019 with Cathryn Willard representing the Rotary Club of Bracebridge-Muskoka Lakes and Chris Tonge and Art Meredith representing the Bracebridge Lions Club.
The Flood Relief Committee met three times in order to develop a standardized application; establish evaluation criteria; and provide recommendations for distribution of the donation proceeds to affected residents.
Applications for assistance were provided to those residents who had registered for aid through the Canadian Red Cross and the Town, and 27 completed applications were received by the Town. After detailed review, the Committee allocated approximately $45,000 to the applicants based on the established evaluation criteria. Payments under the 2019 Flood Relief Program will be sent to recipients on October 17, 2019.
The Flood Relief Committee further authorized the remaining $2,000 to be allocated, if needed, at the discretion of the Town’s Director of Finance/Treasurer, in consultation with the Chief Administrative Officer. It is anticipated these remaining funds will be directed to a Community Support budget or held by the Town in an Emergency Planning Reserve in case of a future flood event.
“On behalf of the citizens of Bracebridge, members of Council and Town Staff, I would like to sincerely thank the 2019 Flood Relief Committee members for their time and dedication to their community,” said Mayor Graydon Smith. “I was not surprised to see Cathryn, Chris and Art step forward and join this committee, as their support for the people of Bracebridge has always been steadfast.”
Cathryn Willard, Chair of the 2019 Flood Relief Committee said, “Art, Chris and I were happy to assist the Town of Bracebridge by serving on the Flood Relief Committee. As fellow citizens, it is important to show our appreciation for those who donated, and support those who are rebuilding.”
The Town of Bracebridge would like to thank the members of the 2019 Flood Relief Committee for their work in evaluating applications and making decisions to distribute funds to those impacted by the historic flooding this spring.

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