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City to receive $12 million in emergency funding

Emergency funding will essentially eliminate a projected $10 million budget deficit due to the pandemic
20160201 Guelph City Hall Sign KA
Guelph City Hall file photo. Kenneth Armstrong/GuelphToday

The City of Guelph found out Wednesday that its first installment of emergency funding will be $12,007,634.

Mayor Cam Guthrie made the announcement at the beginning of Wednesday afternoon's council COVID-19 update meeting, saying he just got the information 15 minutes prior.

He said $6,911,100 of that fudning will be for operating expenses and $5,096,534 is specifically for transit.

The city had projecting a $10 million net budget deficit this year because of COVID, with caution that it could be as much as $13 million depending on some as-yet unknown factors, including what the loss in revenue ends up being due to reduced ridership by university students.

"We believe that's the top end corporately," City treasurer Tara Baker said of the $13 million.

Council heard Wednesday that the emergency funding announcement essentially offsets that deficit.

The money comes from the $4 billion emergency fund for Ontario municipalities established by the provincial and federal governments to help mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic.

"The government acknowledges that this is a shot in the arm immediately to help with operating impacts and there will be more to come," he said of the transit funding in particular.

He called the funding announcement, which he learned about during a conversation with Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney.

He called the announcement "excellent news."