City looking at $700,000 surplus
Servus Place turns in one of its best financial years
By: Peter Boer
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 06:00 am
The city is looking at a potential surplus of almost $700,000 for the 2012 fiscal year, according to preliminary financial numbers presented to the standing committee on finance.
The surplus as of Monday looks to be $698,466, or 0.54 per cent of the 2012 budget, which totalled approximately $129 million.
“It’s on the right side of the ledger and it’s very close in a ($129 million) budget, so good for you,” Mayor Nolan Crouse applauded staff after its presentation.
The city saw more money than it expected, or what it calls a “favourable variance” from user fees and also transfers from other orders of government. It’s most significant “unfavourable variance,” or where it lost more money than expected, came from transfers to individual organizations in St. Albert.
Staff will present the city’s final year-end position in March, at which time the surplus will be cast in stone and its use will be decided. Under city policy, council can do one of only three things with extra cash – put it in reserves, pay down debt or use it for a one-time expenditure.
The 2011 surplus came in at year-end at $549,000, or a 0.45 per cent variance from the $122 million budget. In February 2012 the surplus had been preliminarily reported as $645,000 but shrunk due to some late invoices.
But Crouse’s eye was drawn to the preliminary year-end results for Servus Credit Union Place and the fact it recovered 88 per cent of its costs in 2012.
Where it was budgeted in 2012 to lose slightly more than $1 million, instead it lost only $674,000 on the strength of $210,000 in extra revenue and $116,997 less in expenses.
“So much for all the fears we are going to go broke because the (St. Albert) Steel moved out of town,” said Crouse, alluding to the AJHL hockey team’s decision in 2012 to move to Whitecourt.
Since its first year of operations in which it lost $2.3 million, Servus Place has slowly reduced its annual deficit. Its 2011 deficit was $742,164.
Facility director Diane Enger said she would discuss the numbers more completely when Servus’ year-end report is finished later this month.
But Crouse was ready to sing the successes of the facility on Monday.
“The good news story in this, and I hope the residents are listening, is that we have 88 per cent cost recovery,” Crouse said. “We’re a long way from the early days when (Servus Place) was in its bad days.”