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Thursday, February 21, 2019

No Major Changes Anticipated to OMPF Funding

Owen Sound | by Matt Hermiz  

Owen Sound mayor says city received notice from province payment amounts will remain "virtually the same"

A revenue source in 2019 municipal budgets shrouded in uncertainty due a review by the Progressive Conservative provincial government, will likely remain the close to the same as last year.

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli has issued letters to municipalities across the province to assure there will be no major changes to Ontario Municipal Partnership Funding this year.

Owen Sound Mayor Ian Boddy confirms a notice came about 10 days ago from the province saying OMPF funding would remain "virtually the same".

In December, the province sent letters to municipalities explaining OMPF was under review and there would be a smaller funding envelope for 2019, causing some uncertainty during budget deliberations in Owen Sound.

Had the province proceeded with slashing the amount of funding, it may have led to a higher tax rate increase in Owen Sound to maintain the same level of service provided in the 2019 draft budget, which called for a 2.93 per cent combined hike when passed last month.

"We know now that we're stable ... that we're not going to have to hike the taxes to cover that," Boddy says.

OMPF revenues were budgeted at $1.14-million for in Owen Sound 2019, the same amount the city received in 2018.

The 2019 budget will come before Owen Sound council at its next meeting on March 4 to be officially adopted.

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