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City records 2018 surplus


The City of Dauphin is reporting an operating surplus in both the general fund and the utility fund for 2018.
At city council’s regular meeting Mar. 11, Mayor Allen Dowhan reported the unaudited financial statements for last year indicate a General Fund surplus of $367,457.01 and a Utility Fund surplus of $256,150.80.
“We have had a good year and the continued focus on growth in our community is starting to pay off,” Dowhan said.
“I am proud of the staff for their due diligence in monitoring our costs. Weather caused a few delays, but both in the administration and operations, it was through their hard work that kept on track in 2018.”
In the case of the General Fund almost half of the surplus was the result of projects in the budget either being cancelled or delayed to 2019, Dowhan said.
The delayed projects include replacement of the city’s telephone system, which was completed in January, software upgrades and IT support plans, repairs to the City Hall building envelope and sprinkler system, a brick repointing project at the Watson Art Centre, upgrades to the CN Station sprinkler system and CN Station control upgrade, which was completed in February.
Cancelled was an uplighting project at City Hall bringing the total of delayed and cancelled projects to $166,225.
In addition, revenues were greater than budgetted in the areas of taxes added at $29,986 and insurance rebates at $28,910.
“(Taxes added) indicates the growth of the community. When I came on council in 1998 we celebrated when we had one new building,” Dowhan said.
“It has gone up every year since then and that, I think, is a tribute to the hard work of the Economic Development department. There are entrepreneurs in Dauphin and across the province that are looking at Dauphin and are willing to invest in our community.”
Expenses were less than budgetted in several areas, including the policing budget, equipment costs, Dauphin Recreation Services and Economic Development incentives, There were also general operating efficiencies of $16,017.01.
There were some expenses which decreased the surplus including the fire department going over budget $42,000 as a result of a high number of calls, roads and streets over budget by $40,500 as a result of extra paving and yard waste collection costs over budget by $24,245 due to high volumes in the spring and fall clean up campaigns.
The surplus will be added to the General Reserve Fund and used this year for projects not completed in 2018.
On the utility side, much like the General Fund, the surplus was due mainly to projects not being completed.
Those projects include a pressure management design worth $33,000, water treatment plant SCADA upgrades worth $40,000 and Lift Station 1 Communator grinder replacement valued at $80,000.
As well, revenue from custom work was greater than budgeted by $38,000 in addition to expenditures in several areas being under budget including, the lagoon by $31,000 due to low chemical costs and the 4th Ave SW water main renewal and other capital infrastructure by $40,000. There were also general operating efficiencies totalling $48,150.80.
Watermain break and hydrant costs were over budget, reducing the surplus by $54,000.
The surplus will be forwarded to the Utility Reserve Fund.
“A lot of the projects again will be completed in 2019 and be paid from the Utility Fund,” Dowhan said.
Reserve funds
With the transfers of the 2018 surpluses, the General Reserve Fund sits at $3,658,044.03 while the Water and Sewer Fund is valued at $1,217,120.23.
Other city reserve fund balances include:
• Machinery Reserve - $478,852;
• Fire Reserve - $639,210.83;
• Public Land Reserve - $82,810.52;
• Civic Buildings Reserve - $433,477.44;
• Federal Gas Tax Reserve - $1,004,619.08;
• Recreation Facilities Reserve - $652,685.37;
• Snow and Ice Removal Reserve - $115,057.24;
• Environmental Stewardship Reserve - $386,338.92;
• Special Events Reserve - $0; and
• Watson Art Centre Reserve - $26,950.24.
In all, there was a net increase of $602,800.41 bringing the balance across all funds to a total of $8,668,166.70.
“We have a healthy reserve and we are very fortunate,” Dowhan said.
“Because some communities don’t have any reserves.”