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Thursday, July 18, 2019

What Stands Out In Grey County's Mid Year Financial Report

Grey County | by Claire McCormack  

Fewer traffic tickets, housing took a hit due to break ins and extra money came in from the province.

A mid-year financial update from staff says Grey County is poised to end this year with a surplus of $950,000.

The surplus is mainly attributed to $725,000 in one-time funding through the Province meant for small and rural municipalities. Much of that money has not been allocated yet.

Some of it is recommended by staff ($55,000) be allocated towards coming up with a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan which is mandated by the provincial government.

Also of interest, is a big financial hit the County's housing department took after five break ins to apartment building laundry rooms. The county says money was taken from machines and it ended up costing $20,000 to fix laundry machines, doors and cameras.

Of note, the Worker's Compensation budget is projecting a deficit for a number of reasons including the transfer of some funds to reserves.

According to County staff, the biggest cost driver in that category in recent years is a significant increase in PTSD/Traumatic Mental Stress claims in Paramedic Services.
The report says there have been 18 claims since 2016 when the funding became available. 11 of them were in 2018. While not all of those claims have costs associated with them, County staff say it indicates there's a need for peer support and an early intervention program.

Provincial Offences revenue is also down $91,000 compared to what was budgeted for between Grey and Bruce counties. A report says there were roughly 500 fewer tickets issued in the first four months of this year compared to last year.

Meanwhile, the planning department intends to look for a consultant to work on a Climate Change Action Plan.

Ontario Works is expected to have a surplus because the average monthly caseload is down to 1,288 from the expected 1,340.

In the Childcare department there are fewer home care providers this year. Also of note a little over $2 million is coming from the province in Expansion and Early Learning Childcare Funding but much of that has not yet been allocated.

Capital projects, council and information services, planning, agriculture, forestry, Grey Roots, long term care homes are all projected to be budget.

The mid-year report is based on revenue and spending up to the end of April.

Staff say numbers could change through the year depending on what the province gives or takes away.

There is also an expected capital surplus for Transportation Services of $700,000. Without that and the $725,000 in one-time funding, the County would be anticipating a $481,300 deficit.

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