County, Library Compensating for Cuts In Preparing Annual Budgets

County Says Changes in Funding From Queen's Park Impacting Community Services Among Others

The amount Barrie pays to the County of Simcoe and its own library could increase during this budget cycle, due in part to provincial funding changes.

County of Simcoe representatives were at Barrie City Hall on Monday night, to present the city’s portion of the costs for municipal service deliveries. Operating expenses are expected to increase by about 10% in 2020, while 7% of that increase can be attributed to “provincial funding reductions,” according to the presentation given Monday night. It says that those changes have “significantly impacted Children and Community Services, Ontario Works, and Paramedic Services.”

Related: Provincial Funding Changes Mean Challenges In Municipal Bottom Line

All told, the city is being asked to cover $24.94 million of the county’s budget. Barrie contributes to the county’s operating and capital costs as it shares many services; paramedics, long-term care, and housing, while this year’s tally also includes $75,000 in operating costs for the expanding Lake Simcoe Regional Airport.

Meanwhile, the Barrie Public Library was also in front of council on Monday night, presenting a $9.1 million budget. That is a nearly half a million dollars more than last year, while Library staff note a $16,000 shortfall due to provincial cuts. The library also pointed out there has been a 36% increase in program attendance over the last year.

Related: Barrie Police Budget Ups and Downs

Along with a $55 million budget presented by the Barrie Police Service, the County and Library’s proposed budgets will play a part in City Council’s overall deliberations. A final ratifying vote on the City of Barrie’s budget is expected on December 9th.