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Clarington falls $7.7m short due to pandemic

Clarington Council has announced that the municipality’s cash flow would be $7.7 million short for 2020 fiscal year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the Municipal Act, Clarington is required to have a balanced budget and is not allowed to use debt financing to cover any shortfall. However, the municipality can use its reserves, if available, to help.

The council did not clarify the status of its reserves neither did it elaborate on how it plans to fully cover the shortfall.

But, it did say that the shortfall means that some of the planned services and projects may be deferred.

The bulk of the loss comes from cancelled spring programming, loss of user fees and loss of sports field rentals, it added.

“While some of the loss has been offset by savings made in part-time wages and salaries, it is still unclear when the municipality will be able to return to business as normal. The province will make the ultimate decision to reopen. The other impact on cash flow is due to the delay in collecting taxes, said a council statement.

“It is important to note that we are still in the pandemic; a clear financial picture will be available once we understand the full impact of Covid-19,”the statement added.

The next council meeting is May 25.

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