A possible timeline for reopening municipal facilities is on the table. 

North Grenville Council met virtually today to discuss a COVID-19 cost containment plan, the response reserve, operations update and other matters.  

Mayor Nancy Peckford noted that facilities will likely remain closed until June 30, in keeping with current provincial projections.  

Council voted in favour of adding $400,000 to the COVID-19 response reserve, through deferred operating expenses, which brings the total up to $1.36 million. The reserve, established to offset unbudgeted expenses due to the pandemic, was approved last week. 

The goal, according to CAO Gary Dyke, is to avoid a deficit this year and prevent financial implications from spilling over into 2021. 

Council also approved allocating $500,000 from the reserve to the following: $135,000 to offset revenue loss due to the closure of facilities; $75,000 for unbudgeted operating expenses, such as one-time technology upgrades to support virtual council meetings and increased media buys; and $290,000 for a community support program. 

The community support program breaks down as follows: $110,000 for waiving new penalty and interest fees on deferred property tax accounts, $30,000 for contracted security services to protect closed businesses and $150,000 for the enhancement of the ‘Love NG’ marketing and promotion campaign in support of local businesses. 

Bag tags were also discussed and staff was directed to put together a report, which will be brought back to council at a later date.  

Peckford says suspending the program for three months would cost approximately $120,000, which would be difficult for the municipality to absorb.

Members of council noted that trails throughout North Grenville, including the Ferguson Forest Centre and Limerick, remain open at this time.