Heather Wright/The Independent
2020 is a year many people would like to forget, but at least for the County of Lambton, it won’t be a year that puts them in debt.
In fact, it has a $607,000 surplus despite a full year of turbulence.
Many of the local costs of dealing with COVID-19 fall within the county’s budget – things like public health which has led the response, social services, which provided housing and help for those falling between the cracks and long term care, which shouldered the burden of caring for the most vulnerable.
A report to county councillors showed those three areas spent $11.8 million more than expected in 2020 because of the pandemic. That was all covered by federal and provincial grants.
Other departments spent less – libraries and museums were shuttered for long periods of time saving $903,000 over the year. The county also received $454,000 more than expected because the province didn’t cut public health funding as expected.