City revises financial estimates due to COVID-19 pandemic

Herald file photo.

Transit, landfill and airport revenue losses due to COVID-19 will be higher than expected according to an updated financial report included in the agenda package for Monday’s executive committee meeting.

City administrators originally estimated expected Prince Albert would lose nearly $190,000 in transit revenue due to COVID-19. However, the report now shows losses of more than $220,000. City administrators attribute the loss to lower than expected savings from temporarily removing the rush hour bus route.

Estimated lost revenue from the landfill jumped to $178,475, well above the previous estimate of $116,450. The new estimates have the Prince Albert airport losing $70,711 in revenue. The previous estimate was $49,955.

The report’s author, Financial Services Director Cheryl Tkachuk, said the economic situation continues to change rapidly, and any estimates will reflect that.

“Several assumptions and forecasts have been included within this report to forecast projections,” Tkachuk wrote. “Due to the fluidity of the situation, the forecasts could significantly change as the phase-in of the Saskatchewan Re-Open Plan progresses.”

While transit, landfill and airport revenue losses are expected to be higher than anticipated, that’s not the case with parking and traffic ticket revenue.

City officials originally estimated a $775,026 revenue loss due to the pandemic. The revised forecast estimates a loss of $541,185.

City council voted to temporarily suspend handing out parking fines starting on March 27. Bylaw resumed handing out tickets on May 19, the start of the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan’s second stage.

Although city spending has dropped due to reductions in travel, education and supply purchases, it won’t be enough to cover the loss in revenue. Tkachuk wrote that without help from other levels of the city deficit will carry over into the 2021 fiscal year.

As of June 4, the City expects to lose $632,588 due to COVID-19, assuming restrictions last until Dec. 31. Final revenue numbers from May are not yet available.

The financial update is one of three reports up for debate at Monday’s meeting. The other two involve a tourism agreement with the Prince Albert Regional Economic Development Agency (PAREDA) and a report on purchasing eight portable speed alert signs. It also includes a seven item consent agenda.

The meeting starts at 4 p.m. in City Hall.