The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be higher than originally predicted earlier this year.

At Whitehorse city council’s Nov. 30 meeting, members were presented with the city’s third quarter financial reports by Brittany Dixon, the city’s manager of financial services.

The reports show a projected operating deficit of $640,101 by year’s end, largely attributed to the impacts of COVID-19. That’s larger than the $512,718 deficit that was projected by year’s end in the second quarter reports.

“At the end of third quarter, management had been asked to review spending as compared to budget and to forecast expected final results to the end of the year,” Dixon stated in her report. “Through analysis of both the COVID-19 impact and the variance from normal operations … the city is anticipating an operating deficit for 2020 with a revised total of $640,101.”

Among the revenue losses due to COVID-19 are the loss of parking and transit revenue with the city not charging for either during a period early in the pandemic. There have also been recreation losses that came with the closure of the Canada Games Centre as well as fewer numbers since it reopened and the suspension of interest and penalties on utility bills earlier this year means the city was not collecting that money.

Offsetting the $1.8 million deficit coming from the impacts of COVID-19 was an increase in development cost charges with more construction happening in 2020 than anticipated, as well as staff vacancies and tax revenue to bring the deficit down to a projected $640,101.

Answering questions from Coun. Laura Cabott, Dixon confirmed that the numbers could change yet again by the end of the year.

As she pointed out, the analysis for the third quarter was done prior to the territory’s case count rising and while it may lead to a higher deficit due to COVID-19, it would be impossible to say until the final numbers are in.

Meanwhile, on the capital side of the budget, Dixon brought forward a recommendation that council reduce the 2020 to 2023 capital spending plan by $117,420, with most of those funds to be returned to city reserves.

The changes to the capital budget also come thanks largely to the impact of COVID-19.

“As part of the city’s third quarter variance reporting, managers were asked to review the planned capital spending and to identify projects that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dixon explained in her report.

The long list of individual projects requiring budget changes fall under four categories. Among them are a lack of contractors or consultants due to availability, travel restrictors, low tender submissions or a contractor’s own issues in finding staff; supply issues including a lack of supplies or materials, longer delivery times and increased costs for supplies; city staff capacity issues that have come with distancing and other safety measures, hiring issues or delays in tender preparation; and a broader “other issues” category that includes things like adapting to working with consultants virtually or delays that have come as the city revamped public consultation efforts to meet new safety requirements.

A number of the 2020 projects that were not done this year are anticipated to carry forward to 2021.

Council will vote on the capital budget changes Dec. 7.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

Whitehorse city council

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read