The city of Burlington says it stands to lose only around $200,000 between April 6 and the beginning of the summer as a result of physical distancing tactics to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a virtual council meeting on Monday night, staff laid out estimates of the financial impacts of the crisis and anticipates revenues to be affected by about $7.6 million.
Burlington will now dip into city reserves to the tune of $2.2 million through to June 30 and offset much of the $7.6 million by reducing expenditures $5.2 million for 2020.
With the expectation of losing about a $200,000 in tax revenue due to residents exercising the option to defer payments until the end of June, staff suggests the city will have a net projected tax base shortfall of $200,000 on June 30.
Council approved a “COVID-19 emergency response strategy” on Monday which is expected to define the city’s resource needs over the next 3 months as well as the implementation of a recovery plan upon termination of the city’s emergency declaration.
Burlington declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak on March 21, effectively closing down all non-essential businesses and local malls.
Initially, mayor Marianne Meed Ward and council suggested closures would last only until May, however, after Monday’s council meeting it’s being suggested closures will run through most of June.
Beginning in May 2020, the city will open up a dialogue with the public allowing for delegations to meet virtually with councillors at future meetings during the pandemic.
“Many decisions were made at council that will help us stay safe and manage ongoing risk. I look forward to the new ways we will be able to engage with delegates at future council and committee meetings and maintain the business of the city as we continue to adapt to a ‘new normal,’” said Meed Ward in a statement on Tuesday.
Council has also opted to increase parking fines on Monday to $250 for specific parking infractions related to the impediment of emergency vehicles violating COVID-19 bylaws and orders. Current fines range between $120 to $400.