City satisfied with financial position at start of the year

Council pleased with where city stands financially after first quarter

Five months into 2015, the city has spent 17 per cent of this year’s budget to date.

The larger portion of the city’s expenses are expected to come in the second and third quarter of the year, according Alaina Maher, the city’s finance reporting supervisor.

Maher, in a quarterly financial update to city council, said the reason for that is a large chunk of the city budget is going towards projects that will begin in the summer months.

“Transportation’s operations are seasonal, so most work and labour is planned to take place in the second and third quarter,” said Maher, who wrote that the same can be said for the parks and recreation department’s portion of the budget. “For instance, Centennial Pool operations occur in summer months with expenses anticipated to align with budgeted figures in the second and third quarter.”

The sewer portion of the budget is also currently under-budget as operational projects such as the biosolids land application ($80,000), grouting ($150,000), and CCTV related projects ($100,000) are also planned to start in future quarters due to their seasonal nature.

Coun. Charlie Cornfield said at Monday’s council meeting that he was pleased to see an update from city staff on the city’s financial outlook and that such a report helps council do its job.

“I believe it’s incumbent of mayor and council to be on top of things and this report helps,” Cornfield said. “I think it contains good information and I note we’re well on track and managing the city’s finances well.”

While the report outlined the city’s expenses over the first quarter, it also detailed revenues which Maher said are typically lower for local governments in the first part of the year, as city property taxes are not due until July.

“At March 31, 2015 only 12 per cent of the annual budget has been collected,” Maher wrote. “Activity this quarter is not a concern of management, as results are within the expected cyclical activity of the city. It is anticipated that the city will meet our budgeted revenue by the end of the fiscal year.”

The city has already received more than $42,000 in donations through the Legacy Landmark program for memorial items – an amount that has exceeded the annual budget.

Maher added that the city’s development services department has also collected roughly $380,000 more than anticipated due to hospital permit revenues.

She said that overall, the city’s operating results for the first quarter is 21.5 per cent, which Maher said is within what the city anticipated for the quarter.

“Management has not identified any concerns or troubling areas,” Maher concluded in her financial report to council.