Southgate still on track for surplus at the end of 2020

·2 min read

Southgate is expecting a surplus this year, so it won’t be applying for the second round of municipal COVID-19 funding.

Treasurer Liam Gott updated council on its figures in advance of the Oct. 31 deadline for applying for COVID-19.

Deputy-Mayor Brian Milne said he expected that cities with transit systems that incurred huge losses would be the main recipients of that money.

Most of the townhship’s savings were from closures of rec facilities and the library, council heard. The township also delayed the hiring of two positions: the Asset Management & Financial Assistant staff person and also the Fire Prevention Officer.

Council conferences and travel expenses reductions saved around $23,000.

Public works manager Jim Ellis commented on the savings due to lack of training. While it may be a saving in dollars, he said, whether you’re talking about courses for public works, water personnel, or even into sports and other areas, there is a price being paid in a lack of development of talent.

The treasurer gave an update that there is $83,000 left of $190,000 from Phase 1 funding for COVID-19, that can be spent going forward.

Southgate could take some lessons forward and save money by continuing to do some training virtually where it makes sense, Coun. Michael Sherson observed. “We never would have seen that without COVID-19,” he said.

CAO Dave Milliner agreed, and gave another example, saying that there is money that can be saved by not travelling to meetings with developers for example.

Southgate will use some of its COVID Safe Re-start federal grant to buy nine laptops with docking station, three monitors and one printer. The estimated cost is $20,000 before tax.

This will make it possible for remote work and also for online training.

Some of the desktops with life in them may go to the library for use there.

M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald