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The agenda for the Council meeting on May 29 included a report from Ian Davey, the Town’s treasurer, on budget performance for the first quarter.  The version provided gave very little detail and was deferred, but a detailed comprehensive version was provided at the Council meeting on July 17.  The report gives variances on both the Operations and Capital Budgets.  Because Capital budgets are mostly for summer projects, only 4.8% of Capital has been spent but the operational budget is approximately as expected.  No reasons are given for variances in the report but the full detail in the report is good disclosure.

A report of budget variances with this format was first provided for Q3 2016 – go here. Gil remarked that these reports would be easier in future because there is now a template.

Revenue does not include tax revenue and is only $9,883,659 per year compared to expenditures which are $32,145,008 per year. So this is what I would call “other revenue” although in some cases (like the CCC), revenue is large at $1,254,669. 

Operational budget expenditures summary:

  Annual Budget Q1 2017 Actual $ Remaining Budget % Remaining Budget
General government 3,263,628 767,849 2,495,778 76.4
Protection 11,576,315 2,610,800 8,965,514 77.4
Public Works 4,978,826 1,270,387 3,708,438 74.4
Environmental 3,604,729 622,612 2,982,116 82.7
Social & Family 60,100 0 60,100 100
Parks & Recreation 6,582,776 1,240,160 5,342,615 81.1
Culture & Community 1,577,496 405,840 1,171,655 74.2
Planning & Residential 501,138 124,749 376,388 75.1
Commercial & Economic 636,174 106,542 529,631 83.2
Total 32,145,008 7,042,400 25,102,607 78.0

For a Q1 report, 75% or more remaining to be spent is good.

(Note: Cents removed from amounts and only 3 significant figures in percentages)

Of course operating costs are primarily salaries and benefits which are directly related to head count so you would expect the Q1 operating budget to be very close to the budget. Most businesses manage the largest part of their operating budget by managing head count but the Town does not disclose head counts – probably because of privacy reasons. If you know the head count, you can get the average salary plus benefits costs.
One complication is that departments like Parks and Recreation hire a significant number of summer students so these costs occur only in summer.

If you look at the detailed report, you might ask the question that councillor Aaron Burchat asked about winter maintenance (it looks like it is already $60k over budget). Treasurer Ian Davey said that this was an accounting issue since it now includes Works department salaries which were not in the budget but transferred from another item. There was another reason to do with salt inventory which I didn't understand but it wasn't because of lots of snow clearing which we obviously didn't have. Ian said that in the end, what matters is the total department variance - the Works department was in fact OK overall in Q1.

Selected Operational Highlights

Some activities have received a lot of attention – the public's interest is in whether they make money and, if they require a subsidy, the size of the subsidy (see discussion on CCC Subsidy here).

2017 Budget and Q1 Actuals Annual Budget Revenue Annual Expense Budget Profit/ Subsidy Q1 Actual Revenue Q1 Actual Expense Q1 Budget Profit/ Subsidy
Marina   684,080 610,431 73,649 14,279 80,879 -66,600
Trailer Park   276,980 148,964 128,016 1,758 10,987 -9,230
Cobourg Community Centre 1,254,669 2,282,922 -1,025,253 304,206 527,041 -222,835
Concert Hall 164,650 295,347 -130,697 56,859 69,186 -12,327

The Marina and Trailer Park are summer operations so the Q1 numbers don’t mean much.  However, the CCC and the Concert Hall are both doing better than 25% of the annual numbers although they both depend on some events which do not occur regularly.

The total Capital budget for 2017 is  $7,799,520 and in Q1 only $377,269 was spent.  The only significant completed project reported was the Canteen & Pro Shop Renovations. Budget: $190,000  Actual: $202,546
Mayor Brocanier said that we can expect the Q2 (first half) report in August.  Council passed a motion that directed that the full report be posted on the Town's web site.



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