City of Windsor Receives $19 Million Toward COVID-19 Budget Gap
Municipal budget pressures associated with the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis have been allocated emergency funding from the continued Safe Restart framework agreement to support vital public services in the city of Windsor.
$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. Over the course of the next few months, City administration will continue to look for internal cost savings to further mitigate the ongoing COVID-19 financial pressures. Since the passage of the 2021 municipal budget, additional COVID-19-related pressures continue to impact our $38-million estimate, including, amongst others, the establishment of the temporary emergency shelter at the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre, requirements for rapid testing at Huron Lodge, and other expenses.
In 2020, the federal and provincial governments recognized the unique circumstances of the City of Windsor and provided dedicated Safe Restart funding to help offset financial losses resulting from the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and Windsor International Airport operations. Municipal officials will continue to advocate for additional federal relief to support these Government Business Enterprise assets in the months ahead.
“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. Simply put, we are not out of the woods just yet.” – Joe Mancina, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, City of Windsor.
“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. 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.” – Drew Dilkens, Mayor, City of Windsor.