Council, in a Special Council meeting on June 26th, approved several cost-cutting measures recommended by staff. These cost cutting measures will help the Township offset revenue reductions and losses due to COVID-19.

The estimated financial operating impact from COVID-19 for the Township was a reduction/loss of $1,647,500 in revenues. Measures taken to date to cut costs have reduced operating expenses by $1,577,500, leaving the Township with an estimated budget deficit of $70,000. Additional unbudgeted expenses directly related to COVID-19 could increase the potential deficit to $733,000.

Unlike other levels of Government, municipalities cannot budget for a deficit and must fund a deficit through the use of reserves or fund in future year’s budgets. In order to preserve the capital budget and the Township’s ability to address future infrastructure needs, as well as minimize the impact on taxpayers in future years the Township has implemented aggressive measures to contain costs. Cost savings measures were implemented early in the COVID shutdown.  The Leadership Team took additional measures in late June to temporarily lay-off additional staff, not fill vacant positions, reduce staff hours for specific positions, and additional cost-containment measures.

“This has been a difficult week for us”, says Mayor Dave Barton. “It is never easy cutting staff and the services our residents expect. We need to look to the future as we deal with COVID-19 today and manage our finances appropriately. I hope our residents understand that these are exceptional times and this year the Township will just not be able to fund all the services or open the amenities our residents have come to expect.”

Councillor Bruce Garrod, Chair of the Finance Committee echoed the Mayor’s comments. “I am grateful to staff for their hard work to find every dollar we can save. There are numerous small cuts everywhere, but together they add up to significant savings. Our staff have dug deep to minimize this deficit.”

Cuts to budgets or planned projects or services include:

  • Reduction in funding for the Accessibility, Art and Visual Enhancement, Traffic Calming, Heritage Uxbridge, Energy Conservation and Active Transportation Committees,
  • Reducing the number of trees planted in the tree replacement program,
  • Reducing the frequency of grass cutting and reducing horticultural expenses at Township facilities,
  • Reducing the budget for pavement preservation and weed spraying

A detailed report about cost containment measures and the impact of COVID-19 expenses is available at https://bit.ly/2B6xCci.

Due to Health restrictions, the Township is not expecting to open Uxpool, the Arena, the Community Centre or the Senior’s Centre for a few months. The Township does plan to open the Splash Pad. The Township is also planning to re-open public washrooms in parks on a modified basis.

The organization will continue to manage expense carefully, and further measures will be considered, if required.

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