City projects $11M deficit, largely due to heavy snowfall

The city revealed it is on track to post a $10.9 million deficit, largely thanks to heavy snowfall earlier this year.

Snow removal accounts for $10M of the projected deficit

The city revealed on Wednesday it is on track to post a $10.9 million deficit, largely thanks to heavy snowfall earlier this year.

A report before city council showed that heavy snowfall led to a $10 million spike in snow removal costs.

The deficit projections are based on this year’s operating budget costs as of June.

Chief Financial Officer Lorna Rosen said the deficit is being closely monitored, however, it is small in terms of the overall budget.

Rosen also said it is possible that the numbers will even out in the next six months.

“Ten million dollars can shift quite dramatically before year end,” she said.

Mayor Don Iveson said the deficit wasn’t a concerning amount.

“The way I look at it is we have a $1 million overrun across a $2 billion company when you don’t count snow,” Iveson said.

“The budget is 0.1 per cent off right now if you don’t count the snow, and one per cent off if you count the snow. For an operation this size, it’s really nothing to be concerned about and we do have a contingency fund to go to for that weather issue.”

Snow removal budget increase

Iveson said city council will look into how much money should be in the budget for snow removal later this year.

“We heard it loud and clear from our citizens, if there is something they wanted us to spend our money on — besides paving roads — it’s clearing them of snow in the wintertime,” Iveson said.

“We made some policy changes and I wouldn’t be surprised if we made some increases to the snow budget for future years."

Iveson added increased snow removal services would likely mean higher property taxes.

“If we’re getting more snow every year and the city’s growing and we want higher levels of service, that costs money,” he said.