City of Kawartha Lakes achieves budget surplus of over $1.4 million
Carolyn Daynes, Treasurer, explained that throughout 2015, all departments in the City have been stringently adhering to cost cutting measures and looking for ways to operate with less. “The City avoids ending the year in a deficit position, as this would mean tax payers would see an adjustment line on their next tax bill to make up the difference. Ending the year with a surplus of less than 1% of our budget is considered noteworthy in municipal accounting,” commented Daynes.
The surplus came from three main areas: new growth, personnel savings and continuous improvement efforts.
New growth and development was higher than anticipated and led to increased tax collections of $200,000. This increase benefits all taxpayers as it reduces the tax pressure for future years. The City has invested heavily in the infrastructure to attract new development and expects that growth will continue to rise over the next few years.
In the area of personnel costs, the Fire Rescue Service underwent a Black Belt project in 2014 which outlined more efficient ways to deliver fire services. These changes resulted in above expected savings of $250,000 for medical response without affecting service levels.
Also in Emergency Services, the Kawartha Lakes Police Service (KLPS) undertook operational reviews which resulted in savings of $276,708 and led to a reduction in their 2016 budget.
Personnel savings from City Administration came from the reduction of seven permanent positions, fifteen retirements, discontinuance of some contract positions and decreases to employee benefit costs resulting in over $1 million of in-year savings and offset the anticipated $2 million increase for 2016.
The Continuous Improvement efforts across the City played a significant role in the surplus of over $1.4 million. For example, City Administration saved $163,000 through energy management and cost of insurance claim expenses were down $116,374.
“The surplus is a result of a coordinated effort across City administration and all departments to lessen the City’s financial pressures. We are all working together to put Kawartha Lakes into a more fiscally sound position,” added Mary-Anne Dempster, Director of Corporate Services.
A copy of the Audited Financial Statements can be found on the City’s website or by following this link http://www.city.kawarthalakes.on.ca/city-hall/departments/budget-and-financial-planning/treasury/2015AuditedFinancialStatements.pdf.
For more information please contact:
Director of Corporate Services
705-324-9411 Extension 1311