Operational cuts, surplus used to balance 2017 budget
The City of Prince Albert’s Budget Committee met last evening to address the sudden announcement of a $2.110 million shortfall in the City’s budget following recent provincial government budget cuts. The committee has approved no additional increases to property taxes and no changes to funding for the City’s external agencies.
“City Council was resolved that the mistakes of the provincial government should not be shouldered by the property tax payers of Prince Albert,” said Mayor Greg Dionne. “We committed to a 1.5 per cent increase in property taxes last year and we are staying true to that commitment.”
To achieve a zero impact on property taxes the following was approved by the Budget Committee:
- $106,430 increases in revenues including $83,430 from parking rate increases
- $759,880 cuts to existing 2017 budget including:
o $133,600 reduction to the original 2017 budget through proposed reduced wage increase to 1 per cent for city staff.
o $100,000 in savings in the janitorial contract for City Facilities
o $200,00 recommended reduction to the Police Commission
o $80,020 reduction to Public Works
o $50,000 reduction to outsourcing of legal services
- $308,740 will not be transferred into reserves ($258,740 Future Infrastructure Reserve and $50,000 Special Events Marketing Reserve).
- $1 million transfer from surplus in 2016, was the result of savings from last year. Some of the main drivers for the surplus included a $420,000 refund from WCB, $370,000 savings through Fire negotiations and an increase in revenue sharing.
“Our ability to achieve a revised budget that has no impact on property taxes or external agencies was done through administration’s ongoing efforts to find efficiencies and take a hard look at expenses,” said Mayor Dionne. “That hard work does not stop today. The bigger challenge will come in 2018 as we make further adjustments to account for the permanent and ongoing multimillion-dollar cuts to the budget. These cuts will affect the City year-over-year.”
“Overall I am pleased that we were able to achieve this without affecting important services or cutting some of our core investments in City infrastructure and facilities,” added Mayor Dionne. “We have survived 2017 and we may not be in a crisis but our backs are against the wall and we have a challenge ahead of us.”
Residents are encouraged to visit www.citypa.ca for a further breakdown of the budget changes.
For more media inquiries please contact:
Mayor Greg Dionne
Phone: (306) 953-4300