Guelph advances COVID-19 response

Guelph, Ont., July 15, 2020 – At this afternoon’s special City Council meeting—the fourth since COVID-19 forced the closure of facilities and affected services—senior administrative staff presented the fiscal, economic, community and organizational impacts of the pandemic, along with the City’s ongoing plans for addressing them.

Urgent call for emergency funds for cities

Both Mayor Guthrie and Chief Administrative Officer Scott Stewart emphasized the urgent need for funding for cities from the federal and provincial governments. To that end, City Council approved a recommendation that calls on both levels of government to negotiate an emergency support package, recognizing that municipalities provide essential services, with little revenue generated while assuming elevated operating costs due to COVID-19.

Supporting businesses and the economy

Council also approved a one-time transfer of $300,000 from the Tax Rate Operating Contingency Reserve to Innovation Guelph for $125,000, and the Business Centre of Guelph Wellington for $175,000, to support core service delivery for businesses. The move recognizes the important role businesses play in Guelph’s broader economic recovery efforts.

Proactive revenue collection reinstated

Council approved the conclusion of the City’s interest and penalty waiver period for property taxes, rates and user fees, effective August 1. As the City moves towards recovery, and business gradually returns to a normalized state, revenue collection and management of outstanding accounts receivable is important to address the City’s mounting costs.

The City continues to project an operating deficit of $4 to 8 million because of COVID-19. The projection does not include impacts associated with the second and third stage of the provincial reopening, or COVID-19 impacts beyond June 30. Impacts are expected to be felt well into the future.

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Media Contact

Tara Sprigg, General Manager, Corporate Communications and Customer Service
City of Guelph
[email protected]