Council brought up to speed on budget matters

Among the big-ticket items is the appropriation of $200,000 to an ice and snow reserve, which provides for big snow years

After BDO Dunwoody presented the audited financial statements to Salmon Arm council on Monday, several councillors were quick to tell members of the gallery that a reported $4.6 million surplus is not what it seems.

“Financial statements are presented in a different format,” said chief financial officer Monica Dalziel, noting the surplus reported in the financial statements des not include debt repayment and transfers to reserves as an expenditure. “The real net surplus is $70,500.”

Councillors were brought up to speed on several budget items and ongoing projects.

Among the big-ticket items is the appropriation of $200,000 to an ice and snow reserve, which provides for big snow years where the city exceeds the budget.

“Another big one is Blackburn Park improvements,” said Dalziel, noting an additional $160,000 has been allocated to address unanticipated drainage and irrigation upgrades, soil enhancements and the impact of the U.S. dollar.

A number of staff vacancies at the Salmon Arm detachment resulted in a decrease of $495,000 in policing costs.

The money has been redirected to a number of policing reserves for such items as equipment and prison cell improvements.

“In spring we have to revise the budget for all projects that are ongoing, any grants the city has been successful in obtaining and final assessment numbers,” Dalziel says.

Other large, projects include a drainage system in the industrial park, the Blackburn Park Splash and Spray, the new Shuswap Memorial Cemetery and a foreshore sewer main upgrade between Appleyard and Raven subdivisions.

“There are actually a lot of great projects going on,” said Dalziel.

Coun. Kevin Flynn remarked on the significant increase in costs related to Blackburn Park  projects for the current year and the adjustments to last year’s budget.

 

“Thanks to staff who take all these numbers at the end of the year and move them all around,” he said. “The details are mind-numbing but necessary.”