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Municipal government drops deficit projection

The City of Lloydminster has significantly dropped their projected deficit.

The first draft budget brought forward for 2017 had contained an operational deficit of $10.5 million. It had been described as a “significant challenge” facing the municipal government.

In the second draft budget, which will be coming before council this afternoon, new “deficit reduction initiatives” have been put in place, which have reduced the projected deficit to $594,652.

“The proposed deficit reductions strategies contained in this budget document have been assessed against varying opportunities, strategies and initiatives to ensure optimal results for the City in 2017,” states the agenda documents.

According to the administrative report, the City approached the development of the second draft budget with a mindset of “funding needs versus wants” and a “renewed commitment to ensuring all things were being accounted for correctly”.

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“Through these efforts, the City was able to reduce the operating deficit by $4.1 million which is largely attributable to greater scrutiny of requests for growth and new assets in 2017 and an adjustment that was made in land development operating expenses that more accurately reflects the accounting requirements for costs of goods sold,” states the report.

The report also indicates that the pairing of $3.3 million in cost savings and a total revenue increase of $7.1 million has resulted in the deficit reduction.

The methods listed for cost savings show that the City is looking to reduce operational costs and expenditures by $1.8 million, reduce funding for equipment by $1 million, and bring the Lloydminster Economic Development Corporation in-house for a total saving of $500,000.

As for the revenue increases, the City is looking to get $3 million from the sale of assets, increase the municipal levy to raise $900,000, adjust fees and charges to get $2.1 million, and improve their business practices for an increase of $1.1 million.

A total of $21.7 million is expected to be included in the capital budget for 2017. This amount includes the following projects;

-Automation of water metres at $1.8 million

-Expansion of the landfill at $3 million

-$2 million for annual water and sewer replacement, and $3 million for annual street improvement.

Council will be presented with the second draft budget during today’s council meeting, and the final approval on the budget will be granted on December 12. Presentations on third-party funding provided by the City will also be on today’s agenda.

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