Whitehorse faces deficit

The city is estimating a $304,000 deficit by year-end, financial manager Valerie Anderson told Whitehorse city council this week.

The city is estimating a $304,000 deficit by year-end, financial manager Valerie Anderson told Whitehorse city council this week.

Anderson read from the second-quarter variance report that she was presenting to council.

“The 2007 Operating Revenue and Expenditures report indicates that, at present, there will be a deficit at year end compared to the revised budget.”

The deficit is expected despite higher-than-anticipated tax revenue, which caused financial services revenue to be approximately $162,000 over budget.

Parks and Recreation also made more money than expected due to increased enrollment in leisure programs this summer.

However, the $319,421 in total additional revenue wasn’t enough to counter the $624,076 in unforeseen expenses.

Salaries and expenses will be increased throughout the city, due to the correction of a payroll liability issue based on auditors’ recommendations.

The planning study plebiscite, Arkell referendum, and Lower Bench charette added unexpected advertising costs.

Public Works is also expecting to go over budget with snow and ice control expenses this coming winter, due to higher than average snowfall at the beginning of this year.

Maintenance has taken a toll on the budget as well.

Roof repairs and replacements, increased vehicle usage, and equipment maintenance are blamed for the $235,100 in unplanned expenses.

Can any of the extra expenses be attributed to the Canada Winter Games? asked councillor Doug Graham.

Anderson was unsure, and said that she’d look into it.

The numbers are subject to change, as large portions of the city’s activities take place during the summer months, she told council.

A much clearer budget forecast will be available at the end of September.

She vowed to review all further spending in an attempt to bring a balanced budget by the end of the year.

If not, money will need to be taken out of the city’s contingency fund to make up the difference.