North Bay finished 2016 with a balanced budget, drawing about $1 million fewer dollars from reserves than anticipated.
That’s largely thanks to surpluses in most areas of city operations, including the fire department, community services, corporate services and engineering, environmental services and works.
The surpluses, totalling more than $1.7 million, have allowed the city to offset a shortfall in general government and to extend the mayor’s multi-year budget plan.
The city also has been able to move some funds into various reserve accounts in accordance with financial policies.
The mayor’s plan, which was first incorporated into the 2016 budget, involves the use of a one-time payout of more than $25 million from North Bay Hydro for operations, capital projects and debt reduction over the next several years.
The city’s 2016 operating budget called for a transfer from reserves of nearly $1.5 million. But, based on year-end results, only $444,857 was required. That means the plan can be extended over a longer period.
The little more than $1 million that wasn’t transferred from reserve accounts is for the lion’s share of a $1.8-million general government deficit that was reflected in a report to council last week.
But that’s largely a paper deficit because the revenue is now coming from other departments.
The balance of the general government deficit is due to factors such as a Workplace Safety and Insurance Board surcharge of a little more than $600,000 related to its New Experimental Experience Rating (NEER) systems, as well as increased write-offs, higher consultant and contract costs and lower methane revenues.
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