In a report submitted to Council last month, Cavan Monaghan Director of Finance Kimberley Pope reported that the financial impact of COVID-19 on the municipality totalled $302,875 as of the end of August. Of this, $188,760 is attributable to lost rental revenues from recreational facilities of $67,747 and late payment penalties waived on property taxes and water fees totalling $121,013.
Also in this calculation are incremental operating costs of $114,115 incurred from April to August that were tracked back to the pandemic. Based on this analysis, the municipality will submit an application for Phase 2 emergency funding demonstrating that the financial impact of the pandemic on the municipality exceeds the initial funding provision of $217,000.
Council has approved the extension of the waiving of the late payment penalties until the final annual tax installment due date of October 31, 2020. Interest charges on all late property tax and water accounts will be reactivated effective November 1, 2020.
The township has received funds from Phase 1 of the Ontario government $4 billion emergency
Fund established as part of the federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement to address financial pressures related to COVID-19, maintain critical services and protect vulnerable people as the province gradually opens. The initial phase of this relief program was allocated across all 444 Ontario municipalities on a per household basis, while the second phase will be determined by municipal applications that demonstrate operating costs and pressures exceeding their initial grant. Applications for this phase of funding must be submitted to the province by October 30th.
While not eligible for this relief funding calculation, the municipality has also experienced lower gaming revenue from the Kawartha Downs gaming facility that has been closed since March 16th. Funds from this revenue source do not offset operating expenses but are contributed to reserves to augment this source of funds used for capital projects in the township. At the end of August, revenue from this source was 60% lower than same period of time in the previous year, representing a shortfall of $127,400 as of the end of August. The gaming facility reopened this week with significant restrictions so this source of revenue could be resurrected but at a much lower level than previous years. KG