DSB pleased 2021 budget will include slight increase to Island municipalities


ESPANOLA – Member municipalities of the Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board (DSB) will only see a very slight increase in their annual requisitions. At a meeting last week, the DSB board passed a motion to accept the 2021 budget.

Paul Schoppman, chair of the DSB finance committee, told members of the board at its regular board meeting last week, “the finance committee net on November 5. After deliberating the proposed budget, we were asked us to go back and find additional savings, and we met again November 17.”

Connie Morphet, director of finance administration, outlined the 2021 budget summary. “We continue to fight as an agency for additional services funding,” she told the board. She explained that in the proposed 2021 budget, under the Ontario Works Program, the municipal increase is $17,426 or 0.16 percent, and that the main reason for this is that there was a WSIB rate change in 2020. Under children’s services, there has been no change in the municipal variance.

Under community housing there has been an increase of $27,018 or 0.25 percent, with wages and benefits having increased by $30,000 and workers compensation premiums having increased for all DSB employees except for paramedics. 

For paramedic services, there has been an 0.08 percent increase in the variance—an increase to municipalities of $8,670, continued Ms. Morphet.  The program budget support sees a 0.02 percent increase. The overall total municipal increase in 2021 is $53,114 or 0.50 percent.

“I would like to thank staff for getting down to a 0.50 percent municipal increase,” said Richard Stephens, mayor of the Municipality of Central Manitoulin.

“Many hands make light work,” stated Ms. Morphet.

The board passed a motion accepting the finance committee 2021 proposed operational budget for of $40,252,248, which includes an overall increase to municipalities of $53,114 or 0.50. percent. 

Mr. Schoppman said later in the meeting, “we are proud that staff brought the budget increase down to 0.50 percent. I wish Public Health Sudbury and Districts had looked at doing the same. We just received an invoice from them for a five percent budget increase for 2021.”

It was pointed out by another board member that the PHSD had increased municipal requisitions 10 percent the year before, which brings the increase to 15 percent over the past two years. “Congratulations to the DSB administration and staff for bringing the increase in the budget down to 0.50 percent. Well done.”

“I would like to thank all staff for their efforts,” said Fern Dominelli, DSB CAO. “Connie (Morphet) starts this (budget) work in May or June; I don’t see the first draft until September. It’s a lot of work. Thanks to all the staff for their hard work.”

Bruce Killah, DSB board chair said, “I would also like to thank staff for getting the budget increase down to 0.50 percent. It was no doubt difficult, but job well done.”