DSSAB passes 2018 budget

Press Release

The Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board approved its 2018 annual budget of $22.95 million at the regular board meeting held Dec. 14.
The overall budget reflects an increase of 1.65 percent in costs to the municipalities.
The 2018 approved budget is reflected below:
•Ontario Works–$2.95 million (down from $3.15 million in 2017);
•Children’s Services–$4.70 million (up from $3.45 million in 2017);
•Emergency Medical Services–$7.62 million (up from $7.34 million in 2017);
•Social Housing–$7.03 million (up from $5.94 million in 2017); and
•Central Administration–$0.65 million (up from $0.64 million in 2017).
The total budget is $22.95 million, up from $20.52 million in 2017.
Capital expenditures included within the 2018 budget total $816,500.
This includes repairs to substructures in social housing family units, upgrades to financial software, conversion of a duplex unit to a four-plex, shingles, eaves trough, and flooring replacements on social housing units, upgrades to Information Technology, and a new ambulance with a power load stretcher system.
Many of these projects are funded from restricted reserves and do not directly impact the municipal share.
“I am impressed,” said DSSAB vice-chair Ross Donaldson.
“This is the first budget that has been passed prior to the start of the budget year, and was unanimously supported by the members present,” he noted.
“Congratulations to the members.
“With the continued increase of funding from the province for children’s services, social housing, and completion of the uploading of Ontario Works, we are in great shape and can continue to focus on further service improvements at reduced costs to our municipalities,” Donaldson added.
During 2018, the local DSSAB will continue to focus on identifying and addressing homelessness, developing a long-term strategy for its housing units, and improving child-care services.
“We are extremely pleased with the increases in 100 percent provincial funding for children’s services, new capital funding for our housing program, and the upload of Ontario Works,” said DSSAB chair Ken Perry.
“Once again this made the budget easy to support for the members.
“We anticipate that provincial funding will be forthcoming to address the land ambulance non-urgent transfers in the near future, and look forward to ensuring that our taxpayers have equitable access to services at an affordable cost,” Perry added.
Overall, the 2018 approved budget was increased by $2.43 million from 2017.
Once again, the majority of the increases are reflective of 100 percent provincial funding, particularly for children’s services and housing.
Ontario Works decreased $200,000 primarily due to the continued upload of costs to the province.
Children’s services experienced an increase of $1.25 million, primarily due to additional 100 percent provincial funding, representing the province’s continued focus on “Early ON” and improving access to quality child care.
Land ambulance increased by $280,000, representing general economic increases.
Social housing expenditures increased by $1.09 million for 2018, which is primarily funding for the new eight-plex Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH), currently being constructed in Fort Frances.
“The staff, management, and board continue to lobby at every opportunity for increased funding, equitable funding formulas, and improvements for our service delivery,” DSSAB CAO Dan McCormick said.
“We have many initiatives currently in progress and continue to work with the province to recognize and address the northern issues, regarding service delivery and costs,” he noted.
“I would like to take this time to thank the staff and management for their continued hard work and dedication to our programs, and the people in our communities,” McCormick added.