Guelph City Council approves more fiscal relief measures in response to COVID-19

Guelph, Ont., April 16, 2020—During an emergency meeting earlier today, Guelph City Council approved several recommendations to support the City’s response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“People’s health and wellbeing continue to drive every decision we make. Right now that means taking advice from health officials and the Province to prevent the virus from spreading, and looking ahead to make sure we can get people back to work when it is safe to do so,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie.

Guelph City Council approved the following measures to provide some financial relief for residents and businesses:

  • Continue free Guelph Transit service until July 1, 2020 for people travelling to essential workplaces, medical appointments or shopping.
  • No parking fees or time limits in parking lots or metered spaces until July 1, 2020.
  • No interest, penalty or collection fees on property taxes until August 1, 2020. Where possible, the City will collect property tax installments on April 30 and June 30. Property owners who may not be in a position to pay taxes on time can email [email protected] to defer automatic tax payments.
  • No late fees or interest on water, wastewater or stormwater bills until August 1, 2020.
  • Continue issuing business licenses, and defer fees until August 1, 2020

City Council also approved additional yard waste pick up starting in April. The City will provide more details about this as soon as they are available.

City reserves will help offset estimated $6-9 million year-end deficit

The cost of offering these fiscal relief measures is estimated to be $5 million. In addition, the City estimates $3.9 million in lost revenue due to facility closures, program cancellations and other impacts from the slowing economy.

To address these costs and revenue losses, the City has stopped all discretionary spending and non-critical hiring. The City is also reviewing capital projects to determine what work may be deferred and reviewing staff requirements for ongoing programs and services. Estimated savings amount to $4.8 million and may change depending on future actions taken in response to this emergency.

“There’s still a lot of uncertainty but we’re doing the right things in response, and to prepare us for recovery,” said Scott Stewart, Guelph’s Chief Administrative Officer.

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Media Contact

Tara Sprigg, General Manager, Corporate Communications and Customer Service
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2610
[email protected]