Fri, 14 Aug 2020
This week, the Province of Ontario in partnership with the federal government, announced Phase 1 of emergency funding for Ontario’s 444 municipalities. Through the Safe Restart Agreement, the Town of Oakville will receive $2,447,884 to support Oakville Transit and $4,460,300 to help with COVID-19 operating costs.
“My Council colleagues and I are pleased that the provincial and federal governments have delivered on their promise to provide financial assistance to municipalities. In the fall, Oakville will receive one-time financial assistance of $6,908,184. As municipalities are not allowed to run a deficit, this funding will help mitigate the fiscal shortfall that has resulted from the COVID-19 shutdowns and help us continue to provide the high quality facilities and services Oakville residents expect,” said Mayor Rob Burton.
The town’s projected net operating budget shortfall during the emergency shutdown is estimated at $10.3 million as a result of lower program revenues.
The town began its response to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 12, closing all town facilities to the public – including all recreation and culture facilities and programming, seniors’ centres, libraries, harbour facilities, parks and sports fields – and moved to providing modified, essential services only, including reduced transit service. In order to accommodate health and safety measures, fare collection on Oakville Transit was suspended from March through June.
To help mitigate the financial impact of the closures, the town made the difficult decision to issue temporary lay-offs to part-time, seasonal, casual and temporary staff.
“This funding is very welcome news. While we are now in phase 3 of recovery and some staff are returning, the town saw minimal revenue during the March 16 – June 30 closure period. It will take time for revenues to resume to normal levels during the recovery period as services are phased in and capacity limits are enforced,” said Nancy Sully, treasurer and acting commissioner, Corporate Services.
For more information, review the COVID 19 Financial Update report on the July 7, Budget Committee agenda.
The Town of Oakville has a comprehensive COVID-19 recovery process in place that aligns with the Province’s gradual phased-in approach. For more information and to learn what’s open and closed in Stage 3, visit our COVID-19 Information page.