Provincial Funding Changes Mean Challenges In Municipal Bottom Line

As municipalities across the province prepare budgets for the coming year, some are finding the job is made more challenging due to changes with provincial funding.

At tonight’s council meeting, The Barrie Police Service, the Barrie Public Library, and the County of Simcoe are all presenting budgets for council to mull over and somehow include in Barrie’s bottom line. All three budgets made more difficult, according to the presentations to be given tonight, due to provincial cutbacks.

The County will note that funding changes have significantly impacted Children and Community Services, Ontario Works, and Paramedic Services, while the police service and library say they will have to make up for a combined $936,000 shortfall due to cuts on the provincial level.

Barrie Springwater Oro MPP Doug Downey says the province did warn everyone, adding some municipalities actually benefitted this go around. “Some things are shifting,” Downey told Barrie 360, “we’re trying to communicate as quickly as possible. One example, the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund, is money transferred from the province to municipalities. Oro-Medonte and Springwater, they both received an increase of over $20,000.”

“I am pleased with the Province’s increased support for the Ontario Municipal Partnership Funding,” said Oro-Medonte’s Mayor Harry Hughes. “The funding is vital to the Township’s service delivery and infrastructure, further bolstering economic development opportunities.”

Both Springwater and Oro Medonte have just begun budget deliberation processes, with budget approval expected in the New Year, but the Township of Oro-Medonte is receiving an increase of $12,000 to $1,305,000 this year, while Springwater is receiving an increase of $8,000 to $988,500 in provincial funding.