Council Corner Update - November 9th, 2020

Tue, November 10, 2020

Did you miss last night's Council meeting? We have you covered. See below for a summary of the main agenda items. 

  • The City’s Financial Variance Report for September was presented by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The CFO noted most operating revenues and expenses are within budget, apart from a deficit of approximately $100,000 anticipated by year’s end in the water utility, due reduced commercial revenues due to the pandemic, and additional costs associated with water quality testing. 
  • The CFO provided a report and recommendation with respect to Community Enhancement grant awards for 2021. Staff has recommended a freeze in amounts, given financial uncertainty going into 2021, and no increase to property taxes is anticipated to be required to cover the cost of the recommendation.  This year staff also recommended directing $15,000 in funding towards proposed renovations at the Salvation Army out of the total $95,000 requested. Staff has recommended supporting additional fundraising for the Salvation Army through the placement of a fundraising thermometer on the exterior of City Hall, and to assist in collecting additional community funds towards their goal. Council approved approximately $1.363 million in grants as recommended by staff. 
  • Council voted to proclaim November 15 – 21, 2020 as Metis Awareness Week.
  • Council received a report from the CFO regarding new utility fee bylaws for the Water Utility, Sanitary and Storm Sewer Utility, and Solid Waste Utility, with the current bylaws expiring at the end of 2020.  Staff has proposed the following incremental increases to the utility fees over the next 4 years to account for inflationary costs.
    • Solid waste - 2% increase in each year starting in 2021
    • Water - 4% increase in 2021, 2% thereafter for the remaining three years
    • Sanitary/Sewer - 0% increase in 2021, 2% thereafter for the remaining three years
  • These increases are less than the previous rate increases of 3% per year, which was implemented during the last adoption of four-year fee bylaws. Utilities are self-funding for operations, with all funds collected going towards the operating cost of the respective utility. 
  • Council voted in favour to table the Utility Management Amendment bylaws until staff is able to look into whether COVID emergency funding can offset the projected deficit incurred in the water utility in 2020. Future consideration of these bylaws will be brought forward at the next meeting.