Although the future of OMPF is up in the air, Algonquin Highlands is thankful for this year’s funding

MyHaliburtonNow.com spoke with Algonquin Highlands Mayor Carol Moffatt after the announcement the township was getting $1.28 million from the provincial government.

Moffatt said that is roughly $16,000 more than the township got last year.

When asked what the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund was going to, Moffatt explained that the money is treated as revenue and will be spread where it needs to go saying “we just use it as we use any other revenue.”

The cautiously optimistic mayor explained that the real challenge with the fund is the fact that it is under review. Moffatt says the province had little choice in terms of giving this year’s funding but adds “if they change the funding going forward, we’ll have some tough work to do in years coming if we have to find another $1.2 million from taxpayers.”

“We’re talking about it now, we don’t have an answer and I don’t think anybody does…” said Moffatt when asked if she and the other council members were starting to plan ahead if the funding is cut back or eliminated.

Moffatt emphasized that council was nervous when it was announced the funding was going under review, paired with the fact the announcement was seemingly out of the blue.

She goes on to explain that nervousness was because “in a place like Algonquin Highlands and similar municipalities, one per cent on the tax rate only equals $50,000 so it’s an awful lot of money to have to make up on the pockets of property owners.

Despite it being under review, the multi-term mayor gave some positive outlook by saying the province had explained the goal of the review is to restructure it back to help those it was originally intended for.

“I think it would be suicide for the province to eliminate the fund…” Said Moffatt