Pandemic costs may top $70M in 2021, but London, Ont. City Hall still in the black
City Hall is more than just weathering the financial impacts of the pandemic -- a new report projects a multi-million dollar surplus for 2021.
The Mid-Year Operating Budget Monitoring Report projects COVID-19 pandemic costs and lost revenue in 2021 will total $70.8 million in 2021, however, belt-tightening and financial bailouts from senior levels of government will result in a massive surplus.
All three municipal operating budgets are projecting surpluses:
- Property Tax Supported Budget, $11.2 million
- Water Budget, $3.3 million
- Wastewater Budget, $3.5 million
Budget Chair, Councillor Elizabeth Peloza, says the senior levels of governments have prevented the financial burden of the pandemic from landing on municipalities.
“About $51 million was kicked in by the other levels of government to help with funding and offset costs,” Peloza explains.
The city treasurer recommends squirrelling away much of the $18 million surplus.
Up to $10 million of the property tax surplus is recommended for the New Affordable Housing Reserve Fund to help address the housing crisis.
And $4 million is recommended for the water and wastewater contingency reserve funds.
Peloza credits civic administration and its use of flexibility built into the city’s four-year budget for navigating the financial impacts of the pandemic.
“That is really one of the powers of a multi-year budget, we set our goals of where we are going, and it gives us plenty of room to make adjustments as things change.”
The Corporate Services Committee will receive the report at its meeting on Sept. 20.