Wellington County towns splitting $1 million in provincial funding

·2 min read

COUNTY OF WELLINGTON – Wellington County and the seven member municipalities are getting just under $1 million in the second round of Safe Restart program.

The province is giving out $299 million in funding to all 444 municipalities in Ontario.

A provincial press release says this funding is financial relief from COVID-related pressures to ensure municipalities aren’t carrying operating deficits in 2021.

The County of Wellington and its member municipalities are receiving the following:

Centre Wellington - $157,000

Erin - $53,000

Guelph/Eramosa - $60,000

Mapleton - $44,000

Minto - $48,000

Puslinch - $38,000

Wellington North - $62,000

County of Wellington - $463,000

Kelly Linton, county warden and Centre Wellington mayor, said this funding comes as a welcome surprise because he wasn’t sure if they would be receiving any in the second phase.

“It was supposed to be application-based but they didn’t follow through with that,” Linton said. “They just divided it up based on, I think, the number of residents.”

An additional $396 million has been allocated to 48 municipalities that are hardest hit from COVID and have demonstrated a need for additional assistance in covering 2020 operating expenses.

The county and member municipalities are not included in this.

Linton said this is primarily because they don’t have transit.

“The municipalities and cities that have transit are really hard hit by this because people are staying home so the revenue has really dried out and in Wellington County and Centre Wellington we don’t have transit,” Linton said. “I think that’s the biggest reason why we’re in pretty good shape financially."

This also comes at a good time as neither the County or Centre Wellington have passed their 2021 budgets to date and this funding can be incorporated.

“There are some strings attached, it has to be related to impacts of COVID,” Linton explained. “We do have to report back to the province on where the money was allocated … but it seems like they’ve been pretty flexible in allowing us to spend that in a variety of different ways.”

Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com