City of Barrie misses the mark for tornado relief from the province

Financial impact to the City was $357,000

The tornado which blew through southeast Barrie on July 15 did not cause enough damage for the City to qualify for provincial funding under the Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance (MDRA) program.

The MDRA program helps municipalities recover from extraordinary costs after a natural disaster.

Eligible expenses include capital costs to repair public infrastructure, as well as certain operating costs.

For the purpose of MDRA, a disaster is defined as a sudden, unexpected, and extraordinary natural event that results in eligible municipal costs at least equal to three per cent of a municipality’s own purpose taxation levy.

According to a report from Finance Department, the City’s own purpose taxation levy for 2020 was $248 million.

Three per cent of this is almost $7.5 million, which is significantly above the expected financial impact of $357,000, so Barrie misses out on qualifying for the program.

The report says the financial impact is applied to the City and the Barrie Police Services Board.

The following is a list of incremental costs and lost revenues related to the tornado that have either been incurred to date or are expected to occur in the coming months as recovery efforts continue:

• Repair/replacement of damaged street fixtures
equipment, trees, and recycling bins $117,000
• Police related $83,000
• City overtime $54,000
• Clean-up costs (waste and tree debris removal,
street sweeping, waived landfill fees) $52,000
• Lighting, generators, safety fencing $27,000
• Lost property tax and water/wastewater revenue $21,000
• Transit $ 3,000
Total: $357,000

At this time, the City does not have any information on additional operating costs relating to paramedic services, which are administered by the County of Simcoe.

The EF-2 tornado had winds of 210 km/h, and according to Environment Canada, left a path of destruction five kilometres long.