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2019 Preliminary Year-End Financials brings surplus

For immediate release: April 3, 2020 - 4:09pm
CF20-1148

Preliminary year-end financial results for the 2019 fiscal year yield a surplus of $518,343, a favourable variance of 0.10% from the overall 2019 budget of $510.36 million, pending City Council approval. The Administration is recommending that this surplus be transferred to the Fiscal Stabilization Reserve.

“The transfer of funds to the Fiscal Stabilization Reserve is an annual process based on Council Policy, which offsets any tax-supported operating deficits incurred in a year,” says Kerry Tarasoff, Chief Financial Officer. “With continued fiscal management, accountability, and transparency, we are pleased to be in a surplus position, which allows for the strengthening of this important Reserve, especially as we start to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.  With a solid financial position, City Administration will look to support core services, and continue to make important financial decisions throughout 2020.”

To reach a corporate surplus of $518,343, the Administration is recommending a transfer from the Snow and Ice Management Contingency Reserve be applied to the 2019 Snow and Ice Program deficit of $646,610. This would mitigate any mill rate impact and reinforce the City’s Fiscal Stabilization Reserve to a balance of $4,775,438, as at December 31, 2019. This transfer would create a 2019 year-end balance of $2,965,154 in the Snow and Ice Management Reserve.

“Last year, we had several variables in terms of weather extremes, which increased the need for more fleet vehicles on the roads, and overtime hours to keep roads safe and maintained for all residents,” says Tarasoff.

A report to the Standing Policy Committee on Finance details a 0.33%, or $1,708,242, favourable variance for revenue, while expenditures were overspent by 0.23% or $1,189,899, both marginally higher than budget resulting in the overall 0.10% surplus.

A summary of significant variances include:

Surpluses:

  • Municipal Revenue Sharing Grants: $1.6 million surplus due to the revision of the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) formula that the Province of Saskatchewan tabled in its March 2019 Budget.
  • General Revenues: $766,100 from higher than anticipated interest earnings, lease revenues, commission revenues, and returns on investments.

Deficits:

  • Waste Handling Services: $1.3 million deficit due to a shortfall in Landfill revenue and increased expenditures in the Green Cart and Compost Depot programs.
  • Parking Ticket Revenue: $802,500 deficit, mainly related to increased compliance, due to the ease of parking application technology.
  • Snow and Ice Management: $646,610 deficit due to the number of extreme winter/icy conditions in early 2019, resulting in increased street sanding.
  • Facilities Management: $459,900 deficit resulting from salary-related expenditure increases to standby and after-hours emergency response pay.
  • Leisure Centres: $531,100 deficit as paid admissions experienced a decline in sales revenue partially due to temporary Leisure Centre closures.

Saskatoon Utility Results:

The following Utility surpluses and deficits have been transferred to or funded by the applicable stabilization reserve, as stipulated in Council Policy No. C03-003, Reserve for Future Expenditures:

  • Saskatoon Light & Power - $1,071,307 million surplus
  • Storm Water Management Utility - $747,250 surplus
  • Waste Water Utility - $480,305 surplus
  • Water Utility - $3,295,737 million deficit
  • Waste Services Utility - $612,440 deficit

Saskatoon’s Boards Results:

The City’s Boards, including the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS), all posted surpluses in 2019 with the exception of Remai Modern.

  • SPS posted a surplus of $305,333 which is incorporated within the civic year-end results.
  • SaskTel Centre has a preliminary surplus of $1,356,154 million.
  • TCU Place has a preliminary surplus of $1,198,528 million.
  • Remai Modern reported a $259,462 deficit. This amount has been included as part of the City’s year-end results within the Arts, Culture and Event Venues Business Line.

Both TCU Place and SaskTel Centre surpluses are held within their respective organizations and applied to their own stabilization reserves. These are not included within the City’s final year-end results.

Visit saskatoon.ca/budget for additional information and finance-related reports.