If not for higher than anticipated growth revenue, the town's third-quarter report would have painted a much grimmer picture of town operational costs outlined in a the report reviewed by council on Jan. 8.
A year end surplus of $153,000 is now projected for 2017, thanks only to a supplementary tax revenue, increased utility franchise revenue, higher than anticipated planning applications and permit revenue.
While most departments were on target to work within their operating budget, there were some shortfalls. On the red side of the ledger, the town was $300,000 short on anticipated police fine revenue, $95,000 over budget on the executive leadership team transition, faced a $122,000 deficit at the RancheHouse due to lower than forecast rentals and will be providing an additional subsidy of $173,443 to the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre on top of $84,000 provided in the last quarter. In addition, they face a $65,000 deficit in the Big Hill Leisure Pool budget due to the pool operating one month longer than anticipated and the additional training costs faced for the transition to the new aquatic centre.
Anticipated fine revenue has been adjusted downwards in the 2018 budget to correct the gap.
Aquatic and Curling Multi-sport Centre
The aquatic and curling multi-sport facility is now estimated to be $3.6 million over its original budget of $45 million and exactly what the final overrun will be won't be known until after the warranty period expires in August.
By the end of 2017, the town will have provided a total of $627,610 in subsidy payments for the facility, $257,000 more than projected.
Prior to the new addition, the Spray Lake Sawmills Recreation Park Society had operated the facility in a surplus position. The society agreed to manage the new section with the understanding the town would cover any operating deficits it creates.
Once the dust settles on the project, Mayor Jeff Genung has asked for a comprehensive cost breakdown on the cost of the centre to not only include construction, but training and other related costs so people are fully aware of the actual cost of the project.
Other capital projects
The capital budget for the anticipated development of a new police station has been reduced to $3.8 million from $10.8 only because it had been expected to now being under construction. The $3.8 million is for the land purchase and planning that was prolonged by expanding the scope of the project to house additional enforcement teams, like the municipal bylaw officers.
In 2011, the new police station had originally been forecast to cost $10.8 million but it's now estimated to cost $17.4 million because it has become a larger facility.
In the black are trail repair and water plant projects. Repairs to the Bow Meadows pedestrian trail came in $192,000 under budget and the cost of the water plant clarifier upgrades was reduced by $80,000 by adjusting the structural engineering requirements.
The RancheHouse parking lot project is anticipated in begin in the spring of 2018 and due to reducing the scope of the project will cost $65,000 less than anticipated.