Town to save more than a half million through staff layoffs

Publisher’s note: An early version of this story has a numerical typo in the fourth paragraph. ($118,874 VS $18,874). Our apologies for that error.)

by Colin Smith

The Town of Morinville will save something over half a million dollars as a result of workforce cuts made in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

At its April 28 regular meeting Council was told that layoffs and delayed hiring by the Town will lead to $590,180 in reduced expenditure over a 10.5 week period from April 20 to June 30.

According to a report presented by Corporate Services Director Shawna Jason, that includes 31 temporary layoffs of full-time and part-time staff for savings of $365,777, plus some 40 layoffs of casual staff, saving $59,566.

Delaying seasonal hiring of 31 positions will reduce spending by $145, 969, and a temporary ban on new hires – one position affected – will cut expenditure by $18,874.

Jason said that more than 70 per cent of the total will have an immediate cash flow effect on the Town, while the remaining impact will be deferred cash flow.

The cuts follow the decision by Council at its April 3 Special Meeting to close the Morinville Leisure Centre and Morinville Community Culture Centre to the public, as well as outdoor baseball/softball diamonds, soccer fields, skate park and outdoor splash park. They will remain closed until June 30.

Other responses by the Town to the economic impact of COVID-19 include a tax and utility rate deferral program and cash flow analysis and scenario modelling.

In connection with the report, Chief Administrative Officer Stephane Labonne said additional financial resources will become available as COVID-19 pandemic measures begin to relax.

The administration is also looking at where savings can be achieved internally.

“That will put us in a strong financial position to aid the community in whatever way we have to,” he said.

Council accepted the report for information.

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6 Comments

  1. I am happy to see the analysis of finances re the layoffs. There is no satisfaction in these types of decisions that management has to make.
    Hopefully, the affected staff were able to take advantage of the adjusted EI or CERB programs.
    Taxpayers should be aware that, in essence, they still foot the bill, albiet out of another pocket.
    Hopefully these staff are back soon, and actively working to make the future better for attracting nee business and residents to Morinville

  2. where will this extra money go towards. For property tax is going up. No new improvements that i can see towards the rec centre are in place or implementing anything for our kids to make use off that are in there teens, besides the skate board park (which some kids arent interested in) or have out grown riding bikes on the trails

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