2011 was a year of big expenditures for City of Campbell River

The city operated on a $65 million budget in 2011 – a year that saw the completion of several major city projects

The city operated on a $65 million budget in 2011 – a year that saw the completion of several major city projects, according to the 2011 Annual City Report released last Thursday.

The document includes the city’s audited financial report conducted by MNP LLP, which found the city’s financial house to be in order.

“In our opinion the consolidated financial statements present fairly…the City of Campbell River as at Dec. 31, 2011,” wrote MNP LLP in the audit.

According to the report, the city’s net financial assets at the end of 2011 were $18.4 million. Expenses for the year totalled $47.6 million, which included policing, water, sewer, transport and public health.

Revenues were $55.7 million, with $26.29 million of that coming from property taxes.

The city was still in the midst of collecting property taxes from homeowners as of Dec. 31, 2011 because there were three property assessment appeals still pending. According to the annual report, the outcome of those appeals could change the amount of property taxes collected by the city this year and in future years. However, the city has a reserve (savings) fund ear-marked for tax refunds. It currently has a balance of $250,000.

Other property taxes were waived.

The city forgave $330,757 in municipal property taxes to a total of 95 non-profit and charitable organizations such as the Campbell River Head Injury Society, River City Players, the Willow Point Lions Club, the Campbell River Tyee Judo Club, and local churches.

The Annual Report not only outlines the city’s financial statements but it also highlights a year full of projects and achievements.

Last year saw the completion of the Highway 19A upgrades between Hilchey and Rockland roads as well as the 1,500 foot runway extension at Campbell River Airport.

The outdoor lacrosse box also opened at Robron Park and construction of the Jubilee Parkway portion of the Greenways Loop (trail that circles the city) was completed in partnership with Greenways Land Trust.

The city also renovated the Sybil Andrews Cottage in Willow Point; completed the Simms Creek lift station along Highway 19A; and installed free-standing outdoor washrooms next to the Campbell River Visitor Centre and Art Gallery building.

As for achievements, the city snagged a MarCom gold award for excellence in communications surrounding the Highway 19A upgrade project and was awarded a provincial Solar Community award for leadership in solar technology; solar panels heat the water at the RCMP station, the downtown fire hall, Sportsplex and Simms Creek lift station.

The city also received a $55,154 grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to support the city’s tidal power feasibility study. The study looked at using tidal energy to power the lights at the fishing pier and at the Maritime Heritage Centre. Unfortunately the study found the wave speeds around the pier are not fast enough to power the two facilities, but the area is an ideal test and research site.

The city’s Statement of Financial Information, which includes individual councillors’ and the mayor’s yearly earnings, is expected to be published June 22.