After a yr of hand-wringing that it’d wind up with a deficit, the Metropolis of Calgary completed 2020 with a money surplus of $98 million.
It achieved that on the again of greater than $200 million in federal and provincial help which helped with its working prices in the course of the pandemic.
Revenues have been down considerably final yr as a result of main lack of ridership on Calgary Transit and the truth that many metropolis recreation services have been closed because of COVID-19 well being restrictions.
Metropolis officers have been involved that Calgary would possibly fall as a lot as $200 million into deficit final yr until there was assist from different governments.
Municipalities in Alberta are usually not allowed to run deficits. But when they do because of particular circumstances, they’re speculated to advise the province how they intend to steadiness their books.
Town’s deficit forecast did reasonable because the yr went on.
Spending cuts, layoffs
It minimize spending by $65 million, together with the layoff of greater than 1,200 staff, primarily in recreation.
When federal and provincial bailout packages have been introduced, that eased the strain additional.
That money was delivered by way of the province’s municipal working help switch (MOST).
In Calgary’s case, the switch was value $202.5 million for basic working bills in addition to for transit operations.
As soon as that occurred, Mayor Naheed Nenshi mentioned he figured a surplus was doable for 2020.
However he mentioned the money surplus of $98 million is artificially excessive.
“We booked it multi functional yr for bills that went over two years,” mentioned Nenshi. “That federal funding was extraordinarily useful.”
Town’s fiscal yr relies on a calendar yr whereas the federal and provincial governments have fiscal years which finish on March 31.
Whereas we see a light-weight on the finish of the tunnel, we stay struggling.– Coun. Evan Woolley
Nenshi mentioned the town managed its additional time prices, minimize spending — which he mentioned resulted in some metropolis parks trying “shaggier” final summer time — and council gave Calgarians a small tax minimize.
Price range surpluses usually find yourself within the metropolis’s wet day fund, the fiscal stability reserve.
However the chair of council’s audit committee Coun. Evan Woolley mentioned this cash is prone to be heading proper again out the door.
“I might count on that the cash will proceed to stream to supporting the companies and people as a part of our pandemic response,” mentioned Woolley.
“Whereas we see a light-weight on the finish of the tunnel, we stay struggling. There can be a lot of want for us to proceed to help not-for-profits, the enterprise group and Calgarians.”
The audit committee additionally heard Tuesday that the town’s funding portfolio earned $167.7 million in 2020.
After paying charges for managing its investments, that means the town earned a 6.5 per cent return throughout a yr that was marked by volatility in worldwide markets.
In 2019, the town earned $211 million on its portfolio.
It has greater than $5 billion in belongings which embrace reserves, capital deposits, worker profit obligations, basic working money and different funds.