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Town projects $2.1 million surplus, lauds residents’ prompt tax payments

September 4, 2020   ·   0 Comments

The Town of New Tecumseth is doing well financially, despite COVID-19 and is projecting a $2.1 million surplus by the end of the year.

“This financial situation is the result of community efforts, Council efforts and staff efforts all to work cooperatively in the effort of keeping the Town of New Tecumseth on track,” said Lori Bedford, General Manager of Corporate Services for the Town.

The surplus has been generated through reduced services, some cost savings, initial staff layoffs at the beginning of the pandemic and consistent levels of property tax collection compared to years past.

Even though residents had the option to defer their taxes, the Town has collected 92.6 per cent of them so far, which is actually higher than the 91.1 per cent of taxes collected by the Town in 2019.

“During this COVID period, our residents have stepped up to the plate and actually paid in a prompt fashion,” Bedford said.

“Without this funding we wouldn’t be able to offer our services at the level they are now being offered, so we’re very appreciative of all the efforts made by the residents.”

Most Town staff have returned back to work now, with a few more returning in September as recreation programs resume.

The Ontario government provided a $943,000 one-time funding source to the Town of New Tecumseth to cover COVID expenses, which is being used, but a portion of it will be stored in reserves for 2021. All of the funding must be spent on pandemic related expenses, which the Town is likely to incur as the pandemic drags on into next year.

Town CAO Blaine Parkin said it’s hard to believe the community has been facing COVID-19 for over five months, with still a ways to go, but the response from Town residents has been fantastic.

“I’d like to thank all of our residents and our businesses for their cooperation, their understanding and working with us, they’ve been fantastic, literally every step of the way,” he noted.

Assessment Centre

Parkin said Stevenson Memorial Hospital has been seeing an increase in usage of its COVID-19 Assessment Centre as of late.

Fortunately, New Tecumseth has had the least cases in August out of any month since the pandemic started, with just two positive tests.

Going forward, Parkin said the Town will be working closely with the public health unit to assist with the assessment centre when possible.

Patio program

The temporary restaurant patio program administered through the Town has been successful with eight permits issued so far, one application currently under review and an additional eight restaurants that are interested.

“We’ve seen a tremendous response to both the bump out patios as well as the private property patios and that’s fantastic. I hope, certainly, we have a good while left of good weather to enjoy them,” said Parkin.

Ice rink

Pad 1 at the New Tecumseth Recreation Centre is set and ready with the others pads to follow later this month.

“Our sports fields are open and being utilized by organizations and individuals and we have seen great use in our Tottenham Conservation area this summer with both day visitors and overnight campers,” noted Parkin.

RRRF

In other news, the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) that was administered through Nottawasaga Futures and provided small businesses with $40,000 loans was fully exhausted last week.

The entire allocation was $995,000 and has been dispersed to 30 businesses, with 12 of them based in New Tecumseth. The funding equated to 55 full-time jobs being maintained or created as a result of the funding.

Parkin said the program was very successful and certainly helped the local business community through a difficult time.

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter



         


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