COVID-19 will blow massive hole in 2021 budget: Councillor
Councillor Josh Morgan speaks during a meeting at City Hall in London, Ont. on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. (Daryl Newcombe / CTV News0
LONDON, ONT. -- Stockpiling millions of dollars from a recent financial bailout won’t be enough to mitigate anticipated pandemic-related costs at City Hall next year.
“We are going to face some significant challenges in 2021,” warned Budget Chair Josh Morgan during Tuesday’s SP&P Committee Meeting at city hall.
The committee was considering how to allocate a projected $15.3 million surplus from the 2020 municipal budget, the net result from receiving a $40.5 million bailout from senior governments.
The city treasurer recommended distributing the surplus to cover losses at the RBC Place Convention Centre, restart municipal projects that were put on hold, create a $5 million economic recovery fund, and set aside the remainder for pandemic-related costs in 2021.
- RBC Place Convention Centre Grant $1.6 million
- Reinstate Capital Projects $1.1 million
- Reinstate Business Cases $1.3 million
- Economic Recovery Reserve Fund $5.0 million
- Contingency fund for 2021 $6.3 million
But Councillor Morgan said $6.3 million added to the budget contingency fund will fall significantly short of the projected financial impacts of COVID-19 next year.
“Those are well over $20 million expected at this point, and that’s if things trend as anticipated,” said Morgan. “Right now they are not trending in the right directions.”
The committee endorsed the treasurer’s plan for allocating the budget surplus.
Council will deliberate the 2021 budget in December.