County to benefit from provincial investment of $725,000

(Gazette file photo)

JASON PARKS

STAFF WRITER

The County of Prince Edward will be benefitting from an announcement of one-time funding from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Minister Steve Clark made the announcement on Wednesday from the town of Innisfil, ON that a series of investments were being made to small and rural municipalities help modernize service delivery and reduce future costs through investments in projects such as service delivery reviews, development of shared agreements, and capital investments.

Clark said some of Ontario’s small and rural municipalities may have limited capacity to plan, modernize and improve the way they provide services to their communities. With this funding, municipalities can improve service delivery by finding smarter, more efficient ways to spend money that help those who need it most while respecting taxpayer dollars.

“Taxpayers need their local government to deliver modern, efficient services that show respect for their hard-earned dollars. This funding will help small and rural municipalities improve how they deliver services and reduce the ongoing costs of providing those services,” said Clark. “I look forward to continuing to work together with our municipal partners to help people and businesses in communities across our province thrive.”

In the media release issued by the province, the government said it undertook a line-by-line review of its own expenditures and have been clear that it expects partners, including municipalities, to be taking steps to become more efficient.

Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson said the municipality welcomes this one-time investment of $725,000 from the Government of Ontario and share the province’s commitment to become more efficient while look for ways the municipality can limit expenditure growth over the longer term.

This year, we plan to examine how we manage our assets and develop a plan so that we can continue to deliver affordable and sustainable services for generations to come,”Ferguson told the Gazette.

Over the coming months, it is expected county council will discuss how best to allocate the investment so that the municipality can explore new ways of doing business and enhance the financial sustainability of municipal operations.

In a rare move from province, the investment is without strict conditions and the receiving municipalities will decide how to best target funding to benefit their local communities.