Financial Impact of COVID

On Council agenda Sept. 21 there is a staff report reviewing forecasted cost impact of COVID-19 for this calendar year.  The anticipated cost is significantly mitigated by the Federal/ Provincial Safe Start Agreement.  Specifically, forecasted net impact is a deficit of $125,000; the gross cost is forecasted to be $700,000.  The government support is clearly very welcomed.  In addition I am extremely appreciative of the aggresive effort made by our Staff to mitigate the cost impact.  They were creative in reducing costs and there was willingness to do things differently.

The largest source of costs is in our community services and programs & events. During Phases 1 and 2 variable costs of our facilities were minimized as lights, for example were lowered/turned off and staff was redeployed.  But, with Phase3 we are planning to start re-opening some of the facilities and to offer some programming. Full operational costs will resume; and because of health regulations there will be additional costs for required sanitization.  The latter costs in 2 ways; there is the actual materials/products for doing so and the labour to apply plus capacity of the facility is reduced as time needs to be alloted for the cleaning acitivity.  As these recreational programs are important for mental and physical health I am very supportive of resuming them and supporting them.  Second largest source of cost is the waiving of penalties & interest for both property taxes and water bills.  I believe this was necessary and appropriate support to out residents and businesses as we were all adjusting to the implications of the shutdowns.

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