Wednesday, March 6, 2013

City Council Timeline, Special Session, March 4, 2013

Prince Rupert City Council began the process of Budget Discussions on Monday evening, with a Special Session of Council called to examine a number of factors regarding the Budget Process and moving forward with it for 2013.

The timeline of the proceedings can be found in red below, tied in with the City Council video feed archived below. Further information such as minutes, audio and video archives can be found as they are posted to the city Website.

Minutes from March 4th Special Session

In Attendance March 4, 2013

Mayor Jack Mussallem-- Present
Councillor Anna Ashley-- Absent 
Councillor Judy Carlick-Pearson-- Present
Councillor Gina Garon-- Present 
Councillor Nelson Kinney-- Present 
Councillor Jennifer Rice-- Present
Councillor Joy Thorkelson-- Absent

Video Archive for March 4, 2013 
Audio Archive for March,  2013

The Council session began with Unfinished Business and the review of a letter from Ms. Maureen Macarenko of the Prince Rupert Airport Authority over airport transportation fees, Council was asked to consider the letter as part of their budget deliberations, the letter would be added to those considerations.

The first task of business for Council for the Special Session was to receive an overview of the path ahead from Dan Rodin the Financial Services Manager including a timeline for further discussion.

Report from City Manager concerning the 2013 budget

Mr. Rodin's City Budget Presentation

(8:00- 17.00 ) The lengthy process of providing council with an overview of the Budget Process, outlining the requirements of  the Five Year Financial Plan and what it is, as well as the relation to it with the Community Charter requirements and such.

(17:00-24:00) Mr. Rodin detailed what the Five Year Financial Plan is and the assumptions that go into.
This year is pretty well much the same as last year, with conservative estimates of revenues and expenditures. Staffing positions will be backfilled, capital purchases and capital works projects will remain on track. The closure of the McMillan and Ocean fish plants will provide for a reduction in water consumption revenue for the city. He outlined the nature of the Department Head Discussions which started in October. He provided a review of the Funding Sources available to the city. There will be little change in the Property tax situation and the City will be drawing on reserves for the year. The price changes aspect of budget preparation was then reviewed  including, wage increases, and Major Service contracts such as RCMP and BC Transit. The Impact on Revenues was then examined.

(24:00--49.00) Mr. Rodin then examined some of the Details of the Budget preparation. Starting with the Operating Departments, first up was the Airport Ferry, which saw the city 16,000 to the good overall. It's anticipated that revenues for the Ferry will go up in the year ahead, as will expenditures. This will be the final year of the current collective agreement on the Ferry.

The Cemetery was up next for review, the budget will remain the same as it's not easy to predict revenue streams there.

Civic Buildings, the budget will remain at the same level as last year. Possbile work on City Hall building out of the Capital budget.

Corporate Administration, overbudget by about 25,000 dollars much of that revolving around legal fees, stemming from the program of demolition of derelict buildings in the community. The city is attempting to sell some of those properties in town. It's expected that those costs will be reduced in the year ahead.

Development Services were reviewed, with some backfilling in bylaw enforcement anticipated in the year ahead.

911 Services, under budget by about 13,000 dollars as people are leaving landlines and relying on cel phones, reduces the revenues for the City, expenditures are on the increase mainly owing to change for benefits.

Fire Protection, City was over budget by about 30,000 dollars owing to a new collective agreement and nested benefits, it's anticipated that next year's budget will be back on track without those requirements.

Emergency Measures, No revenue from this program, expenditures due to energy and benefit changes.

Finance, Generated more revenue than anticipated on sale of tax properties, small surplus of about 8,000 dollars in place.

Fiscal Expense, Mr. Rodin explained  the wide ranging collection of financial items that makes up this category of Budget Preparation. Included in it is Human Resources contracting out and retirement benefits, Port Edward transfer payments over Ridley Island revenues and rental of space from the Port (Alaska Marine Terminal).

Governance, A review of the cost of running council and executive assistant and such.

Community Grants, the cost of providing for Community Grants as approved by Council. Reduced from last year owing to the final payment to the Museum is complete.  Museum is now free and clear of debt to the city.

Information Technology, a review of the software and other requirements for that area.

Parks, a change in the way that budgeting is done for things such as park benches and such, city residents can purchase benches in the city. The City is budgeting for less for 2013 than in 2012.

Engineering, small amount of revenue received, expenditures were under budget. Engineering department is running with less staff than previous years and no plans to increase staffing there.

Public Works, a review of the costs associated with the Public Works aspects of city operations. Benefit bill will result in an increase in this department next year.

Public Works Vehicles, a review of the cost of maintaining and operating the fleet of City vehicles.

RCMP, revenue streams come from keeping prisoners for other government levels and providing such things as criminal record searches and false alarm fees. On the expenditure side of the ledger, the RCMP has been able to provide services with less full time equivalents, which has provided for a significant reduction in the contract for the city. In 2013, the full 30 compliment is expected with an increased cost to the city.

Recreation Centre and Arena, reviewed the past problems at the arena and required expenditures that came from that. Revenues have increased slightly through the Civic Centre. Currently conducting an analysis of the city's demographics to see how why fewer are using Civic Centre facilities. Savings were found on changes to the workforce and that is a trend that will continue in the next year.

Recreation Centre Community Services, the revenue was derived from pop sales expenditures are used on community outreach programs, it hasn't taken place much owing to staffing at the Civic Centre.

Recreation Pool,  looking to increase revenues and expenditures at the pool

Roads, a review of the facets of the department from lights to sanding to road and rock wall maintenance. Paving budget is in the capital works program and a proposed increase is there for council to consider.

Transit Bus, fees for transit were close to budget, most of the budgeting revolves on the contract basis with BC Transit is looking at a significant increase for the next year, though there may be room for working on that.

Victim Services, City receives money from the province for Victim Services, not a lot of change expected there in 2013.

Watson Island, exceeded our budget on that file, received a bit more revenue than anticipated. Assumption is that we will be in possession of Watson Island until the end of the year. Expenditures were slightly more than anticipated, owing to a combination of professional fees and electrical work. Expectations are that it's going to stay at the same level.

Fiscal Revenues (49:00-58:00)

Revenue from other sources, dividend from CityWest, 1.5 million payment from Provincial government on portland taxation. The City does not anticipate getting as much money in 2013 as last year.

Water Utility, may see a significant change in revenues from this owing to the closure of the fish plants in the community, the City will running a deficit on this, but should be fine by end of year.

Solid Waste, anticipate a slight increase in revenue owing to increase in tipping fees, the City is also going to benefit from the demolition of some large facilities this year and should gain revenue from that.    Currently the landfill utility is running a deficit.

Sewer Utility, a slight increase in fees should translate into a bit more money, using money to purchase new equipment and large sewer program is in place for 2013. Small deficit is anticipated, currrently the fund has a surplus.

Capital Works Utilities, receiving a grant for Hays Creek Secondary Pump, City cost will only be the balance.

An overview of the Solid Waste items, Landfill Expansion and Shawatlans Dam Repairs and paving cost requirements for projects this year.

Capital Purchases, a review of a pair of purchases planned. As well as an advisory that for the first time in five or six years a significant amount of money is going to be spent on the recreation centre, looking to spruce up the facility. Work is also planned for the Ferry Dock. As well some work is planned for City Hall cleaning and painting.

Operating Fund Summary, an overview of where the City's funds are at with an anticipated budget deficit of  513,000 dollars which would result in a 5 per cent tax increase.

Mr. Rodin advised that there is still public consultations and staff could receive more direction from council at subsequent meetings to come.

Councillor Garon asked  the only question of the session, inquiring as to the surplus of last year and whether it carries over this year. Mr. Rodin advised that it does.

With no inquires or further questions for Mr. Rodin Council moved forward with the agenda.

Reports and Questions from Council
There were none so the Mayor moved on to announcements.

He advised of the upcoming Job Fair coming to Prince Rupert on March 22nd at the Highliner Hotel from 11 AM to 6 PM.

Mr Grodecki then introduced a recommendation to adjourn the Special council meeting and reconvene in five minutes for a Closed Meeting of Council the items as per the Community Charter (section 90.1e). (1:00:30-1:01:30)

The motion was adopted.

The Mayor then brought the session to a close.

March 4th Session Archive

For other reviews of Council proceedings see our City Council Archive Page

No comments:

Post a Comment