Three SD&G municipalities get larger Ontario transfer payment

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

SD&G – Despite a recent draw down approach to Ontario transfer payments to municipalities, three in our area bucked that trend for 2020.

Figures show that the City of Cornwall, the Municipality of South Dundas and the Township of South Glengarry got more Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) money than they did in 2019.

The City of Cornwall saw the biggest increase as it received $218,500 more from the Ontario government to bring it just shy of $4.2 million.

Here’s the OMPF allocations and how they trend compared to last year:

Last week during the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference, Finance Minister Rod Phillips committed to “maintaining” OMPF for 2021.

The entire fund is $500 million handed out to 389 municipalities.

“Municipalities told us how vital the OMPF is to their communities and they need information sooner to plan their budgets,” Phillips said. “We’re committing today to maintain the funding envelope for next year.”

The province will continue consulting with municipalities on the payment, which makes up a good chunk of many municipal budgets.

Local budget drafters are taking the news in stride.

“Reduced funding from other levels of government (OMPF for the county is down 15 per cent) increases the pressure on local property taxes in order to support county services,” the commentary in the SD&G 2020 budget reads.

The City of Cornwall budget infers that the OMPF can be put toward expenses for normal city operations.