Windsor Facing a $38-Million Unfunded Budget Deficit

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Windsor is facing an unfunded budget shortfall.

Speaking on AM800's The Morning Drive, Mayor Drew Dilkens says the city is dealing with an unfunded deficit of roughly $38-million.

"We are estimating at this point about $38-million unfunded deficit to the end of the year which means if we don't get money from the provincial and federal governments, city council will have to find a way to fund that $38-million," says Dilkens.

He says council will hold 2021 budget deliberations later this month but the draft document will be released this Friday.

Dilkens says the city finished off 2020 even after receiving funding through the Safe Restart Program.

"Last year we faced a $56-million deficit as a result of the pandemic," says Dilkens.  "We were able to mitigate about $18-million of that internally and then we had money in the Safe Restart Program from the federal government flowed through the province to us and we ended 2020 basically even."     

He says the costs and expenses are not permanent and will not be built into the base budget. 

"We're certainly putting out there the fact that there's a $38-million amount this year, that council has to keep in the back of their mind that we don't expect them to fund as part of the budget, that would be unfair to our residents but we're going to have to keep working with the other levels of government to make sure we can get funding to bring that number down," says Dilkens.  

Dilkens says there is no way to cut $38-million from the budget.  

He says it would have to be added in as an addition but it's unsustainable and the city is not doing it.

Dilkens says if the city did do it, the budget increase for 2021 would be around nine per cent.

City budget deliberations are scheduled to take place on Monday February 22 beginning at 10am.