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Media Release #14 - Township Council Reviews Budget to Address COVID-19 Financial Impact

Posted on Friday May 01, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Media Release #14 - Township Council Reviews Budget to Address COVID-19 Financial Impact

 

May 1, 2020, Lansdowne, ON -  Like all Municipalities in Ontario, the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands is impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The projected decline in Township revenue needs to be balanced with maintaining service to residents, contracts with suppliers, and the health and well being of employees.

 

At a Special Meeting on April 29, 2020 Council provided guidance to senior management on cost saving measures to help offset losses in revenue that will continue to be realized throughout 2020. Mayor Smith-Gatcke emphasized, “the choices that the Township and Council are facing are not easy ones as we strive to balance the needs and expectations of the community with responsible management of Township resources. To do this we need to be cautious with our spending and this includes a detailed review of the budget”.

 

Moving forward, spending will be restricted to the maintenance of core municipal services. Staff will closely monitor day-to-day operations and capital projects to provide on-going updates to Council. As Council is apprised of new or developing information it will take action to responsibly and effectively manage the Township’s finances. 

 

This week, the following actions have been taken to realize a cost reduction of approximately a half million dollars:

 

  • Reduction in operating budgets across all departments
  • Deferral of some capital projects
  • Current vacant positions will not be filled
  • A freeze on hiring summer students
  • Reduction in hours of some staff at the Township and Library

 

Staff continue to explore options and strategies to provide assistance to the community. Kate Tindal, Director of Finance, noted, “we continue to monitor and assess this evolving and shifting situation, and are taking appropriate measures to mitigate the overall impact.”

 

Residents and businesses struggling with the financial impact of COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the Township to discuss payment arrangements regarding property taxes and water and sewer bills. The latest updates and developments affecting the Township are available through the website at https://www.leeds1000islands.ca.

 

For more information, contact:

 

Kate Tindal, Director of Finance

Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands

613-659-2415  ext. 215

directorfinance@townshipleeds.on.ca

 

Corinna Smith-Gatcke, Mayor

Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands

613-561-4980

csg@townshipleeds.on.ca

 

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