City Hall Proceeds With Delayed Projects During The Pandemic

The postponed projects are the slumping strategy, additional funds for the upgrade of the Kinsmen Sportsplex building, the destruction of the YMCA building, and the upgrade of the Pla-Mor Palace’s dressing room.

The City Hall has decided to go ahead with the implementation of its delayed projects as a result of the recent global pandemic, such as the YMCA building’s demolition, whose cost has experienced a 37% increment since April.

A report was presented during the regular council meeting held on August 24 by the City administration concerning the financial condition of the Moose Jaw since the start of the global pandemic in March.

The report contains new updates that focus on the oncoming capital projects, the entire capital budget reserve, the reserve budget for equipment, the cash flow analyses, the expenditure and revenue of the operating budget as well as the utility capital budget.

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Overall capital budget projects

The postponed projects that will be pursued by the City administration are:

Upgrade of the intersection at $682,835.

Gravel highway at $160,300

$110,000 for slumping strategy

An additional $125,000 for the upgrade of Kinsmen Sportsplex building

Upgrade of the dressing room at Pla-Mor Palace at $109,000

The destruction of the YMCA building at $405,000 which was previously $295,000 as of April but now has a $110,000 increase.

The administration at City has approved these projects even though there were unanimous votes.

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Operating budget pressures

There was continuous pressure on the operating budget as a result of the pandemic, according to Brian Acker, the finance director. Few of these pressures are:

A collection of the 2020 municipal taxes is doubtful because the due date is Sept. 30.

The permits for buildings as of now are around $70,000 in contrast to the $250,000 budget.

The receipts from the parking meter collected thus far are $160,000 in contrast with the $750,000 budget. A deficit of $400,000 is still expected after collection begins in September.

Surcharges and tax penalties collected so far have been about $63,000, the predicted budget is $343,000 while the predicted revenue is about $100,000.

Constant revenue from transit is $100,000 in contrast with the budget of $309,000 and the overall budget is anticipated at $200,000.

The revenues and recreation centers and parks have a $400,000 reduction even though the reopening of a few recreational centers can be beneficial in offsetting this amount.

Acker stated that several measures to reduce the entire expenses to about $19 million have been implemented which have been effective but considering the new reopening phase, in relation with the normalcy of all services, there is a possibility for a rise in expenses, of services returning to normal and probably additional expenditure like cleaning as a result of the coronavirus.

He continued that the funding of the Mosaic Place has exceeded the budget and amounts to about $704,686. The City hall might probably offer an additional $300,000 or $400,000 to guarantee that the building arrives on Dec. 31.

Equipment Reserve budget

Acker explained that this year, the City Council intends to spend $5.2 million as part of its budget for equipment reserve for 2020 to 2024 even though within those five years, it will spend about $14.8 million.

He stated that the City council restricted the purchase of equipment in the year to boost cash flows as the funds would be used to cushion the entire cash flow. He continued that the funds have been received from multiple sources and they currently stand in an ideal cash condition which is why they believe nothing should hold back the equipment reserve budget.

Cash flows

In the meantime, the finance department performed an analysis of the cash flow in the municipality of the overall capital budget and predicted that about $12.4million would be accessible during the project, according to Acker. Around $9.2 million have been dedicated which leaves a predicted extra of $3.1 million.

He continued that there would be shortages such as a deficit of $200,000 in multiplex financing from the Moose Jaw Warriors, a $500,000 reduction for the municipal airport authority as well as a deficit of $700,000 in the SPC project which makes $1.77 million available.

The recent cash flows from the sanitary sewer, solid wastes, and water utility budget are almost at the 2019 levels, so almost all the financing, there has been established with the exception of the cast iron replacement and high-service pump house reservoir project, according to Acker. The administrations of the City were awaiting federal funds of $6 million and $10 million, respectively, which was not successful.

Fortunately, the federal government was only able to offer $3 million to offset the costs of transit as well as other pandemic-related expenses, he continued. This money can be useful in offsetting other shortages that erupt as a result of the pandemic.

Sept. 8 is slated for the next regular meeting.

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