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City of Vernon reserves get $1 million top-up

Nearly $5 million in unspent, uncommitted funds from 2022
The City of Vernon is topping up some of its reserve funds with unexpended, uncommitted cash from 2022. (File photo)

City of Vernon reserve funds will get more than $1 million in top-up funding, thanks to 2022’s unexpended uncommitted balance.

The balance of $4,864,551, combined with the remaining $45,655 from 2021’s unexpended uncommitted balance, gives the city more than $4.9 million for future expenditures.

City director of financial services Debra Law came up with five reserve funds to transfer more than $1 million from the 2022 unexpended balance.

“The remaining balance available to council for future one-time projects, unexpected events or other opportunities, will be $3,861, 943,” said Law, who asked council to approve the following transfers:

• $500,000 to the Fire Apparatus reserve (toward a replacement fire truck in 2024);

• $307,603 to the Infrastructure reserve (unspent related to road rehabilitation work in the 2022 operating budget);

• $128,339 to the Snow Removal reserve;

• $57,664 to the Extreme Wildfire reserve (balance to maintain $200,000 for use during extreme wildfire seasons);

• $54,657 to the Abandoned Camp reserve (balance to maintain $60,000 to clean up abandoned homeless camps).

Law said at the end of 2022, the Snow Removal reserve balance totalled $203,502. The budget for snow removal last year was $663,683 but the actual numbers were $955,406, a difference of $291,723.

“Administration did not fund the difference from the reserve due to the department being underspent overall,” said Law, who recommended increasing the reserve to accommodate an additional large snow event (which was approximately half of the 2022 budget, or $331,841).

Council unanimously approved the recommendation on the transfer of funds to reserves.

Law said the most significant revenues that exceeded budgets in 2022 were development revenues in Community, Infrastructure and Development, and investment revenues realized in financial services.

There was nearly $970,000 of excess development revenues collected last year. All were transferred to the Development Excess Revenue Reserve which, at year-end, had an uncommitted balance of $3,023,075.

The city experienced significant labour shortages throughout the organization in 2022. Unspent labour in operating budgets (excluding sewer and water) totalled $2,978,221. And there was also some difficulty in securing road maintenance contracts for all of the budgeted work scheduled for 2022, resulting in $307,603 of unspent funds.

The combination of excess investment income, unspent labour and contract work, and other minor variances makes up the 2022 unexpended uncommitted balance of $4,864,551.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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