Oxford County regional municipal councils: Construction approved in East Zorra-Tavistock, events cancelled in Tillsonburg and COVID-19 financial impacts for Ingersoll and Norwich
Construction project approved
East Zorra-Tavistock Township council approved awarded a contract to resurface the 16th Line between Oxford Road 33 and Oxford Road 4.
The contract was awarded to Cambridge’s Brantco Construction for a low bid of $251,541.
The project had been budgeted for $340,000.
The report noted there will be further project expenses since the township will be doing shoulder work.
The contract also involves a topcoat of asphalt applied on James Street in Innerkip.
Tillsonburg Canada Day festivities cancelled
The annual Canada Day event organized by the Town of Tillsonburg will be cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19.
With Ottawa nixing its July 1 celebrations and other nearby municipalities following suit, town staff recommended a similar cancellation.
Mayor Stephen Molnar said the event takes a significant amount of time to plan. He also said he hopes people find a way to celebrate the national holiday.
The staff report stated the cancellation would save the town about $12,000.
Ingersoll council receives COVID-19 financial impacts report
Ingersoll council received its first projections on the financial impact COVID-19 could have on the town’s bottom line.
The report suggested the overall impact is expected to have a “broadly neutral effect” since losses and savings will likely offset one another.
Despite loss revenues from property taxes – council previously waived interest and penalties on tax arrears from April 1 to Aug. 1 while allowing residents on preauthorized payment plans to suspend payments from May 1 to July 31 – Ingersoll will save about $20,000 due to reduced operating expenses of its parks and recreational facilities. The town os also saving money from reduced staffing levels, programming and utility costs.
The largest impact, however, is the deferral of multiple projects to 2021 that would have cost the town $783,000.
Ingersoll CAO Bill Tigert said putting tenders together has been “problematic” with public-health measures in place and an emphasis on prioritizing projects that are nearer completion.
Work on the town centre, three road rehabilitations and reconstructions, the purchase of two pieces of equipment for public works and the parks and recreation master plan were pushed back a year.
Staff told council they’ll complete a final financial report, but said it’s too early to give an expected date with the constantly changing situation.
Norwich estimates slight losses due to COVID-19
Between cost savings and lost revenue, the first forecasts estimate Norwich Township will lose $38,100 this year due to the pandemic.
The staff report noted those numbers are preliminary and showed council the township had lost $104,500 in revenue, largely from recreation and program fees, investment income and property tax penalties and interest.
The numbers were forecasted until the end of 2020 but assume the fall arena and hall rentals will continue and the Bank of Canada interest rate remain unchanged.
“Norwich is fortunate in that there are many other revenue streams that are not applicable, while other municipalities with these revenue items are experiencing more loss in revenue.”
The township’s expenses due to COVID-19 are $33,800 and indirect staffing costs are estimated at about 1,380 hours, or $81,250 in salary and benefits. The township has added cost mitigations of $100,200.
“The characteristics of this municipality limits the impacts that other municipalities are facing. Norwich’s balance sheet is also sound and can handle the projected costs identified in this report.”