The City of Regina could be looking at a surplus of $6.5 million if the projected budget stays on track, barring any unforeseen weather circumstances.
The city released its mid-year financial report on Tuesday, showing a projected surplus of $2 million for the general operating fund and another $4.5 million from the utility fund.
The city credits the general operating surplus to savings from not filling staff vacancies, which offset the decrease in revenue from building permits and parking.
On the utility side, the projected $4.5 million surplus is due to more money coming in from the Co-op Refinery Complex and the Hauled Wastewater Station (HWS). Meanwhile, the electric and natural gas bills for the Wastewater Treatment Centre are lower than expected.
So far the projected general fund capital spending is $189 million which represents 70 per cent of available funding and spending from the utility fund is $66 million which is 49 per cent of available funding.
While the books look to come in well under budget at this point in the year, the city’s financial report cautions that there are unpredictable variables that can change the picture. Basically, they’re not counting on the weather which could pose delays to construction projects. Months of heavy snowfall could also impact spending on winter road maintenance and water main breaks could also cost the city more.
Appeals to tax assessments and interest from investments are also listed among the various factors that could impact the year-end financial picture compared to the end of June.
Any surplus money that remains at the end of the year is automatically transferred into the appropriate reserve funds for the future.
Despite the projected surplus, the report notes the city faces “significant long-term financial pressures due to external environmental factors and internal operating and capital factors.”
The full report is available online.