The Burns Lake Thrift Shop’s recent renovation ended up costing more than what was anticipated.
According to the Burns Lake and District Healthcare Auxiliary, the group that runs the Burns Lake Thrift Shop, the renovation cost roughly $390,000. That’s $40,000 more than what was originally expected.
“We went a little bit over [budget] due to a new roof, the existing roof had some issues, and the flooring in the old part [of the building],” explained Jeanie Reimer, president of the Burns Lake and District Healthcare Auxiliary.
Although a portion of the renovation was paid with a bank loan and another portion was paid with the organization’s own funds, the Healthcare Auxiliary’s board did not disclose those exact numbers.
“We ended up with a substantial mortgage,” is all that Reimer said.
The organization has received $52,000 from donations – $40,000 from the Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society, $5000 from the Vanderhoof and Districts Co-op, $5000 from the Bulkley Valley Credit Union and $2000 from the Burns Lake and District Community Foundation Society.
Reimer said the organization has also used $100,000 towards the renovation that was given by the Burns Lake Community Forest a few years ago.
When asked if the Healthcare Auxiliary has a policy which states how much of their own funds can be spent on building improvements, Reimer said the Healthcare Auxiliary has no such policy.
The Thrift Shop renovation is still not 100 per cent complete. The Healthcare Auxiliary is currently applying for grants to finish up the paving around the building.
The organization spent months searching for a bigger location for its Thrift Shop before deciding to expand the Fourth Avenue building last year. The renovation included the addition of 1120 square feet and a basement to the back of the building so that the Thrift Shop would have more space to store community donations. In addition to having more space, the building had its lights replaced and walls repainted.
According to the Healthcare Auxiliary, item donations have been progressively increasing over the past five years. Since there was not enough space to store all donations, many items ended up being shipped to organizations such as the Salvation Army while other items were recycled.
Although the Thrift Shop has more shelf space now, volunteers say there’s still not enough room to display all the items that they receive.