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City records surplus in 2019 operations

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The City of Dauphin is expecting to record an operating surplus in its General Fund according to unaudited financial statements presented at the regular council meeting, Mar. 9.
“We are in good shape financially and will definitely be looking at options in our next budget,” Mayor Allen Dowhan said while presenting the financial documents.
On the revenue side, the $446,369 surplus is the result of taxes added on new construction being greater than expected, penalties and interest revenue being more than expected, insurance rebate being more than budgetted and the sale of land which was not budgeted.
Adding to the surplus on the expense side was under budget positions in general administration, policing, roads and street repairs, ditches and drainage, equipment costs, economic development and tourism due to a variety of issues such as staff vacancies and operating efficiencies.
“It was due mainly to staff vacancies. And in the police contract we had a lot of vacancies of offices,” Dowhan said.
“And taxes added was increased by $26,224.”
The surplus position was reduced slightly because of lost custom work income on the highways contract, the Dauphin Fire Department being over budget, Public Works administration being over budget and the recycling program.
Part of the surplus, $13,601.44, will be used to cover cost overruns on snow and ice removal while the remaining $432,767.74 will be allocated to the general reserve.
Water sales were $55,411 lower than budgetted and more water main breaks than anticipated resulted in a $8,837.86 deficit in the Utility Fund in 2019.
“We will have to look at the Utility Funds rates very diligently this year,” Dowhan said.
Limiting the damage was a higher volume of custom work, the water treatment plant and sewage treatment both being under budget by $26,605 and $16,894 respectively, as well as $20,923.14 in operating efficiencies.
The financial snapshot also included an analysis of the City’s reserve funds which saw a net increase of $944,051.38 in 2019.
In total at the end of December, the City of Dauphin had $10,116,416.54 spread over 11 reserve funds.