The City of Fort St. John has released its annual report for 2018, and has called a public meeting for the end of the month.
The annual report gives residents a review of city operations for the year, including where the city is spending its money, who's paying the most taxes, current and upcoming projects, and the activity and accomplishments of various departments.
City council will hold a public meeting Monday, June 24 at 6 p.m. in council chambers to review the report and take questions from the public.
Here are some highlights from the report:
• The city collected $88.9 million in revenues and paid out just over $58.8 million in expenses.
• The city saw a drop in government transfers due to deferred capital projects (down $2.5 million) and fewer developer contributions because of less development activity (down $700,000). But the city also saw a rise in investment returns of $1.6 million over budget, while the sale of services was up $300,000 due to increased water consumption.
• The city spent an extra $700,000 for snow removal, storm drain clearing, and pothole repairs due to heavy snowfall, while transportation costs were $1.2 million over budget due to amortization. The city also paid $900,000 to resolve a holdback deficiency on the construction Pomeroy Sport Centre. The city saved $600,000 by not rolling out a yard waste collection program as initially planned.
• The city's annual surplus was $30.1 million in 2018, the majority of which comes largely from provincial Peace River Agreement funding that the city spends on capital assets like roads, buildings, and equipment, as well as other special projects. The city's operating surplus was $1.56 million.
• The city is carrying $35.5 million in long term debt supported by taxpayers — or, $1,650 per resident — and well over $200 million available in borrowing capacity.
• The city has $21.7 million in cash and savings in the bank, down significantly from $51.1 million in 2017.
• The city's population estimates dropped by more than 1,000 to 21,500 people in 2018, in according to BC Stats.
• In 2019, the city will start work on a historical manual for the Peace River Agreement and the formation of the Peace River Legacy Agreement. The Peace River Agreement is a deal with the province that compensates the city for industrial development outside its boundaries. The Peace River Legacy Agreement are separate provincial funds flowing to the city and region because of the Site C dam construction.
• The city has completed a feasibility report to build a second micro-hydro station. That report will be presented to council later this year. The city's first micro-hydro station in the Old Fort neighbourhood began generating power in October 2015.
• The city's water recovery centre is expected to open in the fall. The centre will reclaim treated sewage water for industrial and agricultural uses.
Read the report in full below.
Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at email@example.com.