Legion asks council for financial help

Representatives of the Estevan branch of the Royal Canadian Legion appeared before Estevan city council to ask for financial assistance.

Treasurer Leonard Grube and ways and means committee chair Danielle Evanson explained the financial issues facing the legion, and the steps they have taken in the past six months.

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The legion was carrying a funding shortfall into the 2017 fiscal year. Provincial command stepped in and the legion's executive has been operating under an advisory committee assigned since a review of its financial situation in February.

Grube noted the issue was discussed at a membership meeting in July, and now they're seeking broader support from the community, including council. 

"We found out that we were giving money to the community; whenever we were requested for help with anything, we always gave, and yet in reality we didn't have any money to be giving," said Grube.

The legion has taken steps through increased activities and promotions of hall rentals, and they have reduced staff members and cut hours in the club room, while taking control of some expenses to operate within means. The legion has been able to pay its regular bills, but they have a balance of $16,000 worth of longer-term debts to three vendors. 

Council did not commit to support during the open portion of Monday night's meeting, but it vowed to review the issue. Mayor Roy Ludwig said he would be in favour of some form of support.

Wednesday's edition of the Mercury will have more on this story. 

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