During an electronic city council meeting held Tuesday, April 7, city council agreed to establish a $100,000 COVID-19 emergency fund. (Screen image)

Williams Lake establishes $100K emergency fund in response to COVID-19

Emergency fund will enable City to provide assistance during pandemic

A $100,000 COVID-19 pandemic emergency fund is being established in Williams Lake so the City can support local requests for support during the crisis.

“At the end of the day we want to be over prepared,” said Coun. Scott Nelson during the regular Tuesday evening council meeting.

“All over the world you can see the equipment that people need and if we can provide what’s needed that’s our goal.”

Coun. Ivan Bonnell said he did not think the City will be able to secure equipment any quicker than other authorities can and did not support establishing the fund.

Nelson, however, argued the City does have other channels.

Chief Administrative Officer Milo MacDonald said the City was able to source some N95 masks that others were unable to access.

Read more: COVID-19: Cariboo women turn to their sewing machines to protect frontline health care workers

“The hospital and the ambulance service did not have the ability to access them,” MacDonald said.

Coun. Sheila Boehm said she agreed the City should help in any way it can.

“If you’ve ever worked in a hospital you’d see that it’s very slow to get equipment. We have to be ready to help here in Williams Lake,” Boehm said.

Coun. Jason Ryll proposed the mayor and CAO have the ability to spend up to $10,000 and everything over that needs to go to a poll of council.

Coun. Craig Smith said he did not have an issue with giving the mayor and CAO the authority to source equipment.

“My worry and my caution is that this is not going to be a case where we are done in a couple of weeks,” Smith said. ” If you are listening to everything that’s going .. this could be up to six to nine months.”

All of council endorsed establishing the fund, and giving the mayor and CAO the ability to spend up to $10,000, except for Coun. Bonnell who voted against the fund.



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