Projected Victoria city revenues fall short

Several sources of city revenue turned out to be less than budgeted in 2011, maxing out the city's conservative contingency fund.

Several sources of city revenue turned out to be less than budgeted in 2011, maxing out the city’s conservative contingency fund.

Among the shortfalls are fire-code related fees and fines.

“In hindsight, these (estimates) were ambitious,” said Victoria finance director, Brenda Warner, during a budget update to council last week.

The city budgeted for $140,000 in fire revenues but the new estimate is for $60,000.

A similar outcome exists for parking-services and water-consumption revenues, which could prove to fall short as much as $530,000 and $480,000 respectively.

Parkades earned less than anticipated because of some closures for renovations. Also, a few stores which used the parkades relocated.

Water consumption is down due to a number of reasons, including weather. Earlier this month, council approved a water-utility rate hike to correct the budget for 2012.

The funds to cover the 2011 shortfall will be drawn from a $1 million contingency fund.

“It’s a very conservative contingency,” said Warner. The contingency fund is also used for snow removal, an item not budgeted for.

Lastly, city departments did not budget for the wage increase negotiated in the new collective agreement signed in November.

Because the increase was anticipated, however, a provision was made in its corporate contingency account. Council approved a recommendation to transfer $1,050,691 from this account to the respective city departments. This money will cover the union salary increases and benefits retroactive to Jan. 1 2011 when the previous contract expired, as well as exempt salary increases retroactive to Jan. 1, 2010.

Council newcomer Lisa Helps questioned the procedure.

Since the salary increase was anticipated, why it wasn’t included in the budget rather than being drawn from a contingency fund, whose purpose is to cover unanticipated expenses? she asked.

“You’re budgeting quite a bit in advance,” explained city manager Gail Stephens. “You don’t know what collective bargaining is going to get you.”

 

Just Posted

‘Cartoony’ mushrooms popping up across Vancouver Island are highly poisonous

Fly Agaric mushrooms can cause hallucinations, gastrointestinal pain and death

Marble humpback sculpture wins Oak Bay’s ArtsAlive 2019 People’s Choice Award

Daniel Cline’s Harmony Humpbacks will be recommended for purchase

Access: Technology lags for people with vision, hearing impairments

Accessibility barriers addressed at the Pacific Training Centre for the Blind

Saanich police arrest man who spat on, pulled knife on man who refused to give him a cigarette

Police recommend the 18-year-old be charged for assault with a weapon

Chilean teen brings protest to Victoria streets

Chile’s peaceful protest unseen, says visiting student

WATCH: Artist explains inspiration behind new Oak Bay mural

Oak Bay’s Parade of Play mural might be the biggest in Greater Victoria

POLL: Are you satisfied with the result of the federal election?

The ballots have now been counted and the dust has settled on… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Oct. 22, 2019

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

85-year-old woman perishes in house fire in Cumberland Wednesday

Police and fire personnel were called to the scene of a fire… Continue reading

Beers on the job, smacking crotches: 10 police misconduct probes in B.C.

Recent report by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner highlights a number of investigations

Seizure of cannabis edibles, including mac-and-cheese, prompt warning from B.C. RCMP

Potato chips, cheesecake and candy infused with cannabis also seized back in August

B.C. parents sue city and province in 12-year-old daughter’s drowning at lake

Beverly Park drowned at Rotary Lake in Dawson Creek in August 2016

Island mom warning others as suspicious powder found in mail

“I was very uneasy … it could be coffee whitener or it could be something else in the bag.”

Most Read