Bathurst has near $900 000 surplus in 2020, reduces net debt
The City of Bathurst presented its audited financial statements for the 2020 fiscal year during the regular public meeting of Bathurst City Council on Monday evening.
The 2020 General Fund (operational) presented a surplus of $ 1,270,925, while the Utility Fund (Water and Sewer services) incurred a $380,164 deficit. Combined, this makes for an overall surplus of $890,761 for the 2020 fiscal year.
Statements show that the General Fund revenues had a budget shortfall of $629,812. However, there was $1,900,737 less in expenses than budgeted, making for a General Fund surplus of $1,270,925. “COVID-19 was certainly a driving force behind the various impacts to our financial statements. Revenue shortfalls because of cancelled events at the K.C. Irving Regional Centre, cancelled recreational programs, building inspection and tourism levies below expected levels were the main impacts. That said, there were also substantial savings across the board, mainly in the Administrative, Protective, Transportation, Development, and Recreational services”, said Acting Mayor Lee Stever.
Utility revenues were $121,589 more than budgeted, but an increase of $501,753 in expenses made for a $380,164 shortfall. “Increased intensity in Utility infrastructure maintenance is becoming a concern as the bulk of the added expenses are related to equipment replacement and repair. Mapping out a plan for this infrastructure renewal will be key to ensuring these costs are maintained at an acceptable level”, the Mayor said.
SUBSTANTIAL DEBT REDUCTION
Increased focus on debt payment is paying dividends, as the City’s net debt went from nearly $38 million dollars in 2017 to under $31 million. “There has been tremendous work done over the past four years on our finances, with our Treasurer identifying debt reconciliation pathways, and our Management team working diligently to streamline costs. The net debt shrank by 14% in 2020 alone and that is more than substantial. By continuing this approach, it will allow the City to be more cost-efficient and enable enhanced capability in important projects such as roadway surfacing and equipment purchasing. We can’t say enough just how important this is and we congratulate out staff for their commitment to helping us reach these financial objectives”, concluded Mayor Stever.