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Budget deficit under one per cent total budget: reserves & surpluses fill gap

For immediate release: March 11, 2019 - 4:10pm
CF19-237

Year-end financials for the 2018 fiscal year yield a budget deficit of $ 3.02 million – a 0.62% variance of the overall $490.63 million City budget.

“The deficit was largely due to greater costs overall for items such as fuel and solid waste handling, as City revenues were slightly under what we targeted,” says Clae Hack, Director of Finance.

A report to the Standing Policy Committee on Finance details a 0.01% or $475,000 negative variance for revenue, while expenditures were overspent by 0.52% or $2.54 million.  A summary of some of the significant variances include:

  • Waste Handling Services had a $1.4 million deficit with $328,000 related to shortfalls in revenues and approximately $1.0 million related to over expenditures, which is consistent with base budget challenges that have been previously presented.
  • Parking ticket revenue experienced a $1.37 million deficit largely related to the effectiveness of the new parking system and online application.
  • Despite an improvement in transit ridership and revenue, Saskatoon Transit ended 2018 with an approximate $1.2 million deficit. Almost half of the over expenditures of nearly $500,000 were largely related to higher fuel and diesel prices than originally estimated.
  • Facilities Management had a $1.4 million deficit mostly related to expenditures for the first full year of operation of the Remai Modern, implementation of a new call-out program, snow removal, corporate security and graffiti management.
  • Leisure Centre admission revenues experienced a $503,000 deficit due to lower admissions then originally budgeted.

These negative variances were offset largely by an additional $2.0 million in provincial revenue as a result of the reinstatement of the SaskEnergy grant-in-lieu, and a $750,000 surplus in Traffic Violation revenue from higher than anticipated volumes.

Civic utilities had the following surpluses and deficits:

  • Saskatoon Light & Power $799,000 surplus
  • Storm Water Management Utility $286,400 surplus
  • Waste Water Utility $ 17,300 surplus
  • Water Utility $1.41 million deficit
  • Waste Services Utility $0

These 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.

The City’s Boards and the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) all posted surpluses in 2018. SPS posted a surplus of $158,800 which is incorporated within the civic year-end results. SaskTel Centre has a preliminary surplus of $2.40 million, while TCU Place and Remai Modern reported a $1.07 million and $1,000 surplus respectively.

Visit saskatoon.ca/budget for related financial information.