City of Trail balances costs with savings

The release of Trail’s third quarter finances review reflects the city is on track to stay in the black by the end of the year.

The release of Trail’s third quarter finances review reflects the city is on track to stay in the black by the end of the year.

The third quarter report is critical to the city because the results can be used to determine, to a fairly high degree of accuracy, how the final year-end should come in, explained David Perehudoff, Trail’s chief administrative officer (CAO) during Monday’s governance meeting.

“The results now being realized actually demonstrate a slight improvement over the previous quarter and it is hoped that this trend can continue now through to the end of the year,” said the CAO.

Earlier this year, council approved in excess of 80 projects, with a total value of $8.5 million.

So far, the city has managed to balance the scales of over-budget bids and cost overruns of current projects, including Victoria Street upgrades, by deferring further ventures not deemed high priority, representing a $419,000 savings.

“There was significant adjustment to the capital plan in the second quarter, as part of dealing with the corridor project, to come up with additional funding,” said Perehudoff in his report to council.

In addition, the legal fees budget, $70,000, has exceeded $93,000 due to numerous files including the boundary expansion proposal, sewer arbitration, and the ongoing expense for personnel related matters.

“The biggest exposure or concern at this time is with the legal costs and significant overrun that will occur, which was reported in the second quarter,” explained Perehudoff. “With the sewer arbitration projected to be heard in 2013, the final over-expenditure could approach $60,000.”

Another category in the red is environmental development, which refers to community planning projects.

Council allotted $60,000 for the year, but to date, $81,630 has been sunk into the city’s numerous projects and additional commitments, including architect work on a concept plan for the Integrated Library/Museum proposal.

“The community development planning budget provides funds for a wide array of planning issues or projects without a specific funding allocation set up,” said Perehudoff. “As indicated in the second quarter, this account will be significantly overspent this year.”

Additional development projects include the downtown economic incentive bylaw, appraisal on the Trail Airport, and the commencement of the Area A boundary extension study.

Those added costs are balanced by savings in various city projects such Silver City Days, which came in under its $60,000 budget, accounting for an $11,000 surplus.

Under $300 has been spent from the council delegations budget, which allots travel funds to meet with provincial cabinet ministers or officials (required delegation), leaving $16,000 in savings.

“This year, travel has been limited and council dealt with meetings as part of the UBCM,” added Perehudoff.