$6.8-million deficit projection leads Metropolis of Saskatoon to take a look at modifications – Saskatoon

The City of Saskatoon is looking to make some changes to avoid a forecast deficit of $6.8 million.

An information report to the city said this is a projected 1.17 per cent unfavorable variance from the budget.

“This is due in large part to higher than anticipated gas and diesel prices, which had a $3.5 million impact on the budget, and to high snow accumulations in the first half of 2022, which resulted in a projected $3 million unfavorable variance,” said Kari Smith, director of finance.

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The projection also said there were other areas that were failing to reach the budget, like information and technology, fines and penalties, and leisure.

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The city said deficit reduction options have already been developed and reported on, covering up to $4.2 million.

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“The mid-year forecast is our best estimate of the 2022 budget position at this time and is still subject to substantial change throughout the second half of the year,” says Smith.

“Administration will continue to monitor and manage the 2022 budget and do everything we can to reduce the deficit while still delivering the services Saskatoon residents expect. Although the city has reserves in place to cover a deficit of this magnitude, our goal for 2022 is to avoid leaning on our fiscal stabilization reserve.”

Some of the things listed in the report to help save on costs included spending and hiring freezes in areas that don’t affect service levels.

It added that the structural deficit risk will need to be resolved to stop year-over-year budget deficits, adding that no one-time COVID-19 monies have been allocated for 2024.

The city will be receiving the third-quarter projections in November.

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