Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says city's finances are taking a hit from virus pandemic

News Apr 04, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton is taking a significant financial hit as it fights the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who called the current pandemic “unprecedented” and compared it to a “bad movie getting worse,” said the city is spending millions of dollars while also losing “millions” in revenue.

“I don’t have a number for you right now,” he said. “That’s something our finance folks are working on, but it is in the millions for sure on a weekly basis.”

Even though councillors approved allowing property owners to defer paying their April 30 tax installments for 60 days – as well as waiving any penalties and interest – Eisenberger is encouraging the public to pay their taxes if they can.

“We need the money,” he has said.

Municipalities, Eisenberger said, are prevented by provincial law to operate deficits, but he expects some will see red ink on their balance sheet this year. Usually municipalities can dip into reserves to cover any unexpected costs, but Hamilton has, over the last few years, been taking money out of its reserve accounts to a point where finance officials were warning councillors to stop it.

The city has closed municipal facilities until at least May 25 while also preventing people from gathering at popular public parks and locations. Yet Hamilton continues to provide essential services such as fire, paramedic and even development applications, along with operating its water and wastewater, providing waste collection and conducting needed infrastructure improvements.

It has incurred extra costs, such as cleaning public spaces, screening for the virus, buying additional personal protective equipment, as well as sending additional money to long-term care facilities for cleaning expenses.

Revenue has slowed to a trickle since the city stopped enforcing metered and surface lot parking, began offering free transit to people to use for essential travel only, and providing refunds to individuals who had signed up for various programs at recreation centres.

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says city is losing 'millions' of dollars a week fighting coronavirus pandemic

News Apr 04, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton is taking a significant financial hit as it fights the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who called the current pandemic “unprecedented” and compared it to a “bad movie getting worse,” said the city is spending millions of dollars while also losing “millions” in revenue.

“I don’t have a number for you right now,” he said. “That’s something our finance folks are working on, but it is in the millions for sure on a weekly basis.”

Even though councillors approved allowing property owners to defer paying their April 30 tax installments for 60 days – as well as waiving any penalties and interest – Eisenberger is encouraging the public to pay their taxes if they can.

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“We need the money,” he has said.

Municipalities, Eisenberger said, are prevented by provincial law to operate deficits, but he expects some will see red ink on their balance sheet this year. Usually municipalities can dip into reserves to cover any unexpected costs, but Hamilton has, over the last few years, been taking money out of its reserve accounts to a point where finance officials were warning councillors to stop it.

The city has closed municipal facilities until at least May 25 while also preventing people from gathering at popular public parks and locations. Yet Hamilton continues to provide essential services such as fire, paramedic and even development applications, along with operating its water and wastewater, providing waste collection and conducting needed infrastructure improvements.

It has incurred extra costs, such as cleaning public spaces, screening for the virus, buying additional personal protective equipment, as well as sending additional money to long-term care facilities for cleaning expenses.

Revenue has slowed to a trickle since the city stopped enforcing metered and surface lot parking, began offering free transit to people to use for essential travel only, and providing refunds to individuals who had signed up for various programs at recreation centres.

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says city is losing 'millions' of dollars a week fighting coronavirus pandemic

News Apr 04, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton is taking a significant financial hit as it fights the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who called the current pandemic “unprecedented” and compared it to a “bad movie getting worse,” said the city is spending millions of dollars while also losing “millions” in revenue.

“I don’t have a number for you right now,” he said. “That’s something our finance folks are working on, but it is in the millions for sure on a weekly basis.”

Even though councillors approved allowing property owners to defer paying their April 30 tax installments for 60 days – as well as waiving any penalties and interest – Eisenberger is encouraging the public to pay their taxes if they can.

Related Content

“We need the money,” he has said.

Municipalities, Eisenberger said, are prevented by provincial law to operate deficits, but he expects some will see red ink on their balance sheet this year. Usually municipalities can dip into reserves to cover any unexpected costs, but Hamilton has, over the last few years, been taking money out of its reserve accounts to a point where finance officials were warning councillors to stop it.

The city has closed municipal facilities until at least May 25 while also preventing people from gathering at popular public parks and locations. Yet Hamilton continues to provide essential services such as fire, paramedic and even development applications, along with operating its water and wastewater, providing waste collection and conducting needed infrastructure improvements.

It has incurred extra costs, such as cleaning public spaces, screening for the virus, buying additional personal protective equipment, as well as sending additional money to long-term care facilities for cleaning expenses.

Revenue has slowed to a trickle since the city stopped enforcing metered and surface lot parking, began offering free transit to people to use for essential travel only, and providing refunds to individuals who had signed up for various programs at recreation centres.