Ford government drops over $3.8 million on Cornwall, SDG

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By Shawna O'Neill
Ford government drops over $3.8 million on Cornwall, SDG
Doug Ford answering a reporter's question during a campaign stop at the Ramada Inn. Nick Seebruch photo.

CORNWALL & SDG, Ontario – Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, announced on Wednesday, March 20 that the Ford government will be doling out one-time investments to small and rural municipalities across the province.

The investment to improve local service delivery and efficiency will amount to an overall value of $3,816,328 for our region. These service improvements could include service delivery reviews, development of shared services agreements, IT solutions, capital investments or other projects, according to a press release.

“Taxpayers need their local government to deliver modern, efficient services that show respect for their hard-earned dollars,” said Clark in a press release. “This funding will help small and rural municipalities improve how they deliver services and reduce the ongoing costs of providing those services. I look forward to continuing to work together with our municipal partners to help people and businesses in communities across our province thrive.”

A breakdown of the funds will be received as follows:

City of Cornwall – $140,940

United Counties of SDG – $725,000

South Stormont – $602,025

South Glengarry – $602,025

South Dundas – $600,406

North Stormont – $548,989

North Dundas – $596,943

“Our local municipalities have limited ways to enhance their operations as they are mindful of keeping taxes as low as possible – meaning, they are reluctant to spend money that must go to crucial infrastructure and services that residents depend upon,” said Jim McDonell, local MPP.

According to a press release, funding amounts were allocated based on the number of households per municipality, and whether the municipality is urban or rural.

Clark’s announcement was made less than a week after the designation of Ontario Municipal Partnership Funds (OMFP) for 2019 was announced.

Earlier this year, municipalities expressed concerns over losing OMFP funding, which includes rural and Northern community grants, housing assessment grants as well as transitional assistance. In South Stormont, council reportedly passed a recommendation criticizing the changes announced to the funding, which was reportedly received in a letter to the Township in late 2018.

United Counties (Council) of SDG, North Stormont, as well as North and South Glengarry saw a dip in OMFP funding this year, while Cornwall, South Stormont, and North and South Dundas saw an increase.

“The City of Cornwall’s (one-time investment) allocation is $140,940,” confirmed Tracey Bailey, City GM of Financial Services and Treasurer. “Following a review of the intent of the funds, Administration will bring a report to Council to recommend how the funds could be utilized.”

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