City of Lacombe sees budget surplus in 2020

The City of Lacombe’s facility and recreation rental revenues were affected during the COVID-19 pandemic but budget changes made earlier this year resulted in a modest budget surplus in 2020. 

The surplus is the result of lower municipal expenses, higher investment income, and financial measures taken by council related to COVID-19, according to a report presented to council Aug. 31 for the first six months of 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant shift in the city’s budget process compared to previous years,” said Mayor Grant Creasey. “The city will continue to be diligent in ensuring the economic challenges of the pandemic are as minimal as possible.”

Revenue is expected to be slightly higher (0.4 per cent equalling $13,641) than what was predicted at the spring budget adjustments.

Expenditures are also coming under budget by 0.95 per cent, equalling $219,619. The city expects more expenditures over the summer months due to seasonal staff, project work, and equipment purchases, which will bring the budget in alignment with forecasts.

Property tax and utility collection

In March 2020, council approved COVID-19 relief measures aimed at assisting residents financially impacted by the pandemic.

As of June 30, the city’s total outstanding taxes owed to the city was $6.6 million, compared to $1.5 million in 2019. This equals about 69 per cent collected of total taxes levied, which is down from 95 per cent in 2019.

Most of the outstanding tax balances expect to be collected in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Total outstanding utility revenue in 2020 is $1.2 million, compared to $1 million in 2019. Utility arrears balanced have almost tripled from $119,000 in June 2019 to $337,000 in 2020.

Council accepted the report as information.

Red Deer Times staff