City deficit shrinks

Whitehorse has hacked its deficit to $31,000, according to the third quarter variance report, released Monday.

Whitehorse has hacked its deficit to $31,000, according to the third quarter variance report, released Monday.

That’s down from a $304,000 deficit expected in August, at the end of the second quarter.

“If you had $1,000 in your pocket this would be less than one cent when you look at this over our $41.7-million budget,” said mayor Bev Buckway.

“It’s pretty darn nice. Our finance department has really come through for us.

The mayor attributes the shrinking deficit to differences in cash flows throughout the year.

“The danger, of course is that when you’re looking at it that far out, you’re only part way through the year,” she said.

“You have different revenues and expenses coming in at different times.

“This is a much nicer figure.”

The majority of the extra expenses were from Parks and Recreation, which is $420,000 over budget.

The department also saw a shortfall in revenues of $67,168 partly because facilities of the Canada Games Centre were closed to the public during the Winter Games.

“We knew that the Games were going to have a significant impact, both on reduction of revenue for us and on our staffing because a lot of our staff played key roles in game delivery,” said parks and recreation manager Linda Rapp.

Council has asked for a further breakdown of parks and recreation’s budget to see how much of the extra expenses was caused by the Canada Winter Games and how much was caused by the centre itself.

The overage from parks and recreation has nearly been offset by $410,000 in extra revenue from financial services.

This is has been attributed to higher-than-expected investment income and general tax revenue.

Planning and building inspection and transit revenue are also projected to be significantly higher than expected.

Meanwhile, lower garbage collection revenues and fewer parking meter fines have resulted in shortfalls.

The mayor said she hopes that the deficit can be eliminated by year-end.

“We generally try to come out with a small surplus,” she said.

“To come out exactly on the penny is not an easy task.”

The variance report came out just ahead of council’s budget speech next Monday night, when the first draft of next year’s budget will be tabled.

Members of the public will be able to give input anytime afterwards, including January 14th when a public hearing will be held.