City of Windsor receives $19 million toward COVID-19 budget shortfall
WINDSOR, ONT. -- The City of Windsor has received $19 million to help with budget pressures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city says budget pressures associated with the pandemic have received emergency funding from the Safe Restart framework agreement to help support public services.
“Within the last week, we received letters from Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney and then another from Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing Steve Clark providing millions towards the City of Windsor’s pandemic budget deficit,” said Windsor Mayor Drew DIikens. “We always knew that funding would be provided in small individual grants – we just didn’t expect the Province of Ontario to respond this quickly! We still have at least an $19-million deficit to mitigate, and the City of Windsor is committed to doing its part to find further internal savings, but we will likely still need further support from the federal government.”
Here’s a breakdown of the funding:
- $5.1 million from the Municipal Relief Fund - Phase 2
- $6.1 million from Safe Restart – Public Transit Phase 3
- $8.1 million in Provincial COVID-19 Financial Relief for Municipalities funding
“As a result, the 2021 City of Windsor estimated municipal financial shortfall associated with managing through the ongoing emergency has been reduced from an anticipated $38 million to about $19 million,” a news release from the city says.
The city says administration will continue to look for internal cost savings over the next few months to “further mitigate the ongoing COVID-19 financial pressures.”
Since the 2021 municipal budget was passed, further COVID-19 related pressures have continued to impact the city’s $38 million estimate. This includes the temporary shelter at the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre, rapid testing at Huron Lodge, among others.
“While we have recently received some very good news in the form of additional 2021 operating dollars, we know that significant risks to our 2021 budget still exist as we continue to experience a number of potential unanticipated costs in order to address the impacts of the ongoing pandemic to our community,” says city CFO and treasurer, Joe Mancina. “Simply put, we are not out of the woods just yet.”
The city says it will continue to advocate for additional federal funding to help offset the “unique circumstances” of Windsor regarding losses from the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and Windsor International airport in the coming months. In 2020, the provincial and federal governments provided dedicated Safe Restart Funding based on these losses.