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Burlington tightens belt for COVID shortfalls

Burlington staff will provide an update about the financial impacts of COVID-19 and seek Council’s endorsement of a three-month strategy that prioritizes which City services will be provided through to the end of June 2020.

 Financial impacts of COVID-19

The strategic management of the City budget and finances, including well through the COVID-19 pandemic, continues to be a priority. City Council and City staff remain committed to fiscal responsibility and accountability and are focused on offsetting all of the COVID-19 related City revenue losses to June 30, 2020 and are looking ahead past July 2020 to mitigate a shortfall at 2020 year-end.

A report detailing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the City’s budget will be presented. This report will include:

•             estimated revenue impacts of $7.6 million to June 30, 2020

•             estimated expenditure savings of $5.2 million to June 30, 2020

The city will pull $2.2 Million out of reserves, reducing the shortfall to $200,000.

Commented Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, “Our City is currently in a good position thanks to savings we’ve acquired through our winter maintenance budget, a result of a light winter, and major tenders that came in under budget depend on continue.”

Joan Ford, Burlington’s  Chief Financial Officer noted, “In recognition of significant revenue losses such as transit fares, recreation programming and property tax deferrals, an expenditure restraint program was immediately implemented across the City to assist in mitigating the financial impacts. Further work will be completed to model the city’s year-end financial position based on various scenarios, given the uncertainty regarding length of time for physical distancing and recovery patterns.”

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