Thanks to the generosity of the senior levels of government in assisting municipalities with their COVID expenses and revenue losses, Hamilton will end the year with a $15 Million surplus, and will have an additional $38 million to put towards COVID related expenditures in 2021. The surplus is a combination to the senior government transfers plus some belt-tightening by the various city departments.
The staff report presented to the Audit and Administration committee stated, “Both the Tax and Rate Supported Operating Budgets are projecting surpluses of $12.1 M and $3.0 M, respectively. The COVID-19 related forecast deficit of $61.6 M outlined in Report FCS20040(a) has been offset from funding received through the Safe Restart Agreement, Social Services Relief Fund and other previously announced funding from senior levels of government, as well as, other cost savings and avoidance measures implemented by Council and senior leadership in response to the declaration of emergency.”
Staff have established a COVID contingency fund out of which any additional COVID-related costs and revenue losses will be funded.
Some of the big ticket items contributing to the surplus include:
Cost Item Savings in $Millions Public Works 14.6 Library 0.9 Capital financing 4.5 Water and wastewater 3.0
Despite the windfall staff caution that COVID related losses in 2021 could rage from $35 Million to $59 Million, a sum that would be offset in whole or in part by the $38 Million in senior government funding that has not been spent in 2020 and the surplus.