Jeff Green | Feb 23, 2006
Feature Article - February 23, 2006
Feature ArticleFebruary 23, 2006
Easy come easy go: County loses closeto$1 million a year in provincial funding
by Jeff Green
Frontenac County Treasurer Marion Vanbruinessen has taken a very cautious approach to a provincial money transfer under the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF), and it turns out this caution has saved the county from a potential fiscal nightmare.
When the OMPF funding formula was announced in 2005, Frontenac County was slated to receive $935,000.
But the county did not include that money in their 2005 budget, partly because it was not to be transferred until the end of the year, but also because Marion Vanbruinessen was unclear about how the funding had been determined, so the $935,000 was placed in a reserve fund.
Under the previous funding formula the county received no direct funding, although its member townships did.
In 2006, the county was also slated to receive a small increase in Ontario Municipal Partnership funding, to about $950,000, as reported in the Frontenac News on February 9. However, at that time Vanbruinessen told the News that she considered that the funding was not certain, because it was based on information that the City of Kingston had supplied to the province about shared programs with the county, and that information was incomplete.
When complete information was forwarded from the city to the province, it was determined that the allocations to the county were faulty, and the county will only be eligible for a small amount of money, at best.
When County Council meets on March 1 to hammer out their 2006 budget, they will not be able to use the $935,000 from 2005 that had been placed in a reserve account, because the province will be asking for that money back. And the promised $950,000 for 2006 has simply disappeared.
They are still better off, however, than they would have been if they had already started spending the money.