WELLINGTON COUNTY – Local municipalities will receive a combined total of just over $350,000 less through a key provincial funding program next year.
However, the hit is not as hard as many municipal leaders were anticipating, with some Wellington County municipalities slated to receive 2020 amounts similar to their 2019 allocations through the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF). Two will receive slight increases.
In total, the county and its member municipalities will receive $6,713,500 next year, compared to $7,065,800 in 2019.
The county itself took the largest cut. Wellington County will receive $1,281,900 in 2020, down $226,200 from $1,508,100 last year.
Among lower tier municipalities:
– Centre Wellington is slated to receive $271,700, down $47,900 from $319,600 in 2019;
– Erin will receive $591,100, just $2,200 less than last year’s $593,300 grant;
– Guelph-Eramosa is to receive $494,200, which is an increase of $3,900 from the previous year when the township received $490,300;
– Puslinch will receive $417,400 in 2020, up $1,700 from $415,700 last year;
– Mapleton’s 2020 allocation is $832,700, down $4,700 from $837,400 in 2019;
– Minto faces a cut of $63,800, with the 2020 allocation at $1,540,800, compared to $1,604,600 in 2019; and
– Wellington North will receive $1,283,700 next year, down $13,100 from the current year’s allocation of $1,296,800.
Province-wide in 2020, the government will provide $500 million to 389 municipalities through OMPF, the province’s main general assistance grant to municipalities.
The program primarily supports northern and rural communities. The unconditional grants can be used for local priorities, unlike application-based funding programs.
The release of the 2020 allocations in October is a departure from 2019, when the newly-elected government kept municipalities waiting until March, after most had competed their budgets.
The 2019 funding closely mirrored the previous year’s level.
“Municipalities told us that they need information early to plan their budgets, and we listened,” stated Minister of Finance Rod Phillips in an Oct. 25 press release.
“That’s why we’re announcing the allocations for the 2020 OMPF today — the earliest they have ever been announced … we are confirming that building strong local partnerships with municipalities is an important part in our plan to build Ontario together.”
Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece stated, “I want to thank Minister Phillips for releasing this information to local municipalities in Perth-Wellington, well in advance of the municipal budget year. Municipalities rely on this information to effectively budget for the upcoming fiscal year.”
He added, “Our government continues to review the OMPF to ensure it is sustainable. We want to ensure it is better focused on northern and rural municipalities that need this funding the most.”