CENTRE WELLINGTON – A Centre Wellington 2021 preliminary budget report is showing a $2 million reduction in slots revenue this year and recommends pushing back a major road project to 2022.
The OLG makes quarterly payments to the township for hosting a casino with 2019’s payments totalling $2.7 million.
A previous estimate from June anticipated 2020’s payments to total over $1.6 million, but the latest report reduced that expected figure to $740,000.
Elements Casino Grand River in Elora opened early this week after being closed for six months. During the closure the town received no payments.
The last payment received in April was $572,700 and the report projects the last payment will be approximately $170,000, 25 per cent less than 2019’s fourth-quarter payment, due to reduced occupancy limits at the casino.
The funds are required by policy to be split among three sections: 88 per cent to capital projects, five per cent to arts, culture and heritage and the remaining to economic development.
“This will have a significant impact on township capital project funding in 2021 as well as available funds for economic development and arts, culture and heritage,” said the report by treasurer Dan Wilson says.
A $2.1 million road reconstruction project on St. George Street East in Fergus reflects this loss as the report recommends deferring to 2022.
Originally proposed for 2021, this project would have seen a full road reconstruction, sidewalks being built, and replaced watermain and sanitary sewers between Gatshore and Herrick Street.
Some leftover funds from 2019’s OLG funds are being used towards the 2021 budget but these only amount to just over $300,000 with a majority going to economic development.
Centre Wellington council will discuss these changes at Monday’s committee of the whole meeting.