Tuesday, March 9, 2021

C-K to continue reopening facilities & services ‘where possible’

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent will continue reopening facilities and services, which were impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “where possible” for the remainder of the year.

South Kent Councillor Mary Clare Latimer entered a successful motion at Monday night’s October 5, 2020 electronic Council meeting.

“The executive management team continue to re-open public facilities and services where possible under 2020 approved budget service levels, for the remainder of 2020, where warranted by demonstrated community demand and where allowed under COVID-19 public health restrictions,” Latimer said in her motion, which was amended slightly from the original staff recommendations.

Latimer’s motion also directed staff that the Safe Restart Funding from the Federal and Provincial governments be considered “to augment the municipal budget” for the remainder of 2020.

“Where COVID-19 related additional costs or revenue losses would otherwise make the facilities and services unviable,” Latimer said in her motion.

The motion added that Council would consider funding 2021 COVID-19 additional cost and revenue losses in the 2021 budget, to have the funds to keep the facilities and services open until the pandemic ends.

Latimer also successfully directed staff to prepare a variance report for Council, prior to the 2021 budget deliberations.

Gord Quinton, the chief financial officer in Chatham-Kent, said in a staff report that public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic is the priority of municipal staff across the
organization.

“As conditions change locally there remains a need to be flexible and to adapt to the current conditions and public health requirements,” Quinton said in his report.

“Facilities may have to close again depending on public health directions from Dr. David Williams at the Ontario level or Dr. Colby at the local level. In addition, demand for services may remain low while citizens protect themselves from potential infection. For these reasons, there is not a set schedule of re-openings.”

Quinton added: “Administration is concerned with the expectation to spend 2020 budget dollars on reopening facilities where there is low demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, with the arrival of the Safe Restart Funding from the Federal and Provincial governments, there is available funding to cover the 2020 losses.”

Latimer had entered a motion at the September 21, 2020 Council meeting for Chatham-Kent to return to full 2020 pre-COVID-19 approved budget service levels, for all remaining services, for the remainder of the year.

However, the motion was sent back to staff for a report and recommendations.

Read the full report, here.

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