More relief funding for municipalities

·2 min read

SOUTH DUNDAS – Another round of financial relief for Ontario’s 444 municipalities was announced March 4th to help with operating costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $500 million in funding is new money from the provincial government and not tied to previous financial help that is part of the federal-provincial Safe Restart Funding announced in 2020.

“We know our municipal partners are on the front lines of this effort, providing the critical services people depend on every day,” said Municipal Affairs and Housing minister Steve Clark in a release. “Our municipalities have been clear that they need ongoing operating funding in 2021, and it’s important that we step up and provide more financial relief.”

Of the six lower-tier municipalities in SDG Counties, the Municipality of South Dundas will receive the third highest amount at $191,690. Payments are calculated based on household data provided by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation and the proportion of COVID-19 cases in a municipality’s public health unit between January 1 and February 18, 2021.

The City of Cornwall will receeive $1,432,263; SDG Counties $751,692; South Glengarry $230,437; South Stormont $216,568; North Glengary $188,869; North Dundas $186,938; and North Stormont $113,036.

Municipalities in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region received more funding than those in the neighbouring Leeds-Grenville-Lanark District Health Unit region. In that region, Edwardsburgh-Cardinal will receive $58,025.

Conrad Spezowka with the MMAH told The Leader that the funding is to “address ongoing COVID-related operating pressures and help keep capital projects on track.”

South Dundas spokesperson Kalynn Sawyer Helmer said that as the 2021 budget deliberations have already been completed, staff and council will determine if any projects that have been approved can use the received funds.

“If the funding specifications don’t fit with any approved projects, staff will make recommendations to council about appropriate options for those funds,” she said adding that the funding allocations will not impact the budget or the planned 1.24 per cent residential tax increase for 2021.

Mayor Steven Byvelds said that staff and council will ensure the funds are spent in a way that respects the intended use and benefits the community.

“I would like to thank Minister Clark and Premier Ford for responding further to the needs and possible needs we as a municipality will need in 2021 in dealing with income loss and excessive expenditures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Leader