SDG funding of LTC commitments complete, over three years early

·3 min read

SDG – A formal five-year commitment made in 2020 to fund two long-term care home reconstruction projects will soon be fully funded, three years early.

SDG Counties council heard at its February 16th meeting that it would reach its goal early when dealing with a routine financial motion to transfer money into reserves. This included a transaction to contribute a “maximum amount of $541,862” to council’s Long Term Care Reserve.

Councillor Jamie MacDonald (North Glengarry) asked why a limit had been placed on the amount being contributed to that reserve

“By transferring this amount, that actually meets our obligation of $6.5 million, which is really great news,” said SDG treasurer Rebecca Russell.

She explained to council that the County had a large overall surplus at the end of 2019, plus the original seed money from the non-roads capital reserve ($1.7 million) that was initially dedicated to a LTC Reserve. The reason for the large $2.5 million surplus was due to a salt inventory surplus at the end of the year.

This surplus was combined with $1,251,900 raised in the 2020 budget through taxation, and an additional $500,000 allocation from a surplus in the transportation department after tendering contracts came in under budget. This left just the $541,862 remaining for the $6.5 million fund.

“It’s really quite impressive,” Russell said to the speed in which the fund was topped up. “It’s very exciting that this won’t go on for years and years.”

“County council really wanted to dedicate this fund to the two manors and support our senior population this way,” said councillor Steven Byvelds (South Dundas) after the meeting. “Getting the funds together in this short of time speaks to the strong financial position the Counties are in.”

The original plan was to fund the manor commitments over five years, but council also supported additional top-ups to complete the funding earlier.

“It was combination of council wanting to do it and that we’re disciplined enough to reserve those funds to bring it to completion before this term is done,” Byvelds explained.

He acknowledged that there is still some public fundraising to be done.

“But between the provincial and county funding, the two manor projects have a solid base to build on.”

SDG Council made a formal $6.5 million commitment during its budget process in early 2020. At that time, council committed to using any year-end surpluses to fund the agreement as quickly as possible.

The funding commitment is to be split between Maxville Manor in North Glengarry ($2.5 million) and Dundas Manor ($4 million) in North Dundas.

The two LTC facilities are undergoing capital rebuilding projects. Both have received funding from the provincial government towards the redevelopment projects.

Funds from SDG to the projects will be released once construction has begun. Council entered into formal agreements with both LTC facilities in mid-2020.

In an email to The Leader, Russell said she anticipates a budget surplus for the year but that will be confirmed once the 2020 fiscal year end is complete and the municipal audit has concluded.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Leader