The General Operating Fund is the Town’s main operating fund. It captures the Town’s administrative costs including:
- Corporate Administration
- ICBC/Driver Services
- Protective Services (Building, Bylaw, Animal Control)
- Infrastructure Services
- Public Works: Roads, Drainage, Solid Waste, Snow Removal, District Energy Utility
- Parks and Cultural Services
- Fiscal Services
Revenues to fund the services listed above come from:
- Property taxation
- Garbage fees
- Investment income
- Property Rental income
- ICBC/Driver Services commissions
- Donations/Other Recoveries
- Planning and development related licenses and permit fees
- Operating grants from the Province of BC
Climate change impacts continue to have a strong influence on the Town’s budgets. The monitoring wells added to the Town’s network this year, together with the expansion of the aquifer service into Zone 3 will help secure present and future water needs for the Town. Additionally, upgrades are being made to the Town’s sewer system to address sea level rise and excessive flows during rain events.
2020 Revenue: Highlights
For 2020, total operating revenue is budgeted to be $6,938,081, a decrease of $15,872 over 2019.
The change can be summarized as follows:
• Impact of 2.2% property tax increase to cover cost of living increases $ 71,321
• Impact of new property assessments (growth) $16,696
• Increase in general revenues $86,787
• Increase in rental income $10,974
• Decrease in protective services ($79,600)
• Increases in various licences, permits and fees $34,440
• Increase in transportation services $68,645
• Decrease in provincial grant funding ($273,378)
• Increase in transfers from reserves $48,245
2020 Expenses: Highlights
Total expenditures, debt payments and transfers to reserves are $6,845,302, or $204,846 (3.1%) higher than in 2019.
Some of the year-over-year changes include:
- Council costs are expected to rise by 5.1%, due to costs associated with increased meetings and public relations. Funding for a volunteer appreciation event has also been included.
- General government operations costs are expected to grow by 2%, as increases in some areas (computer services and equipment) were only partially offset by decreases in other areas (other professional services.) Increased funding for Police Victim Services and the Gibsons Seniors Society have also been incorporated into the budget.
- Municipal Buildings budgeted costs have been increased by 15.2% for 2020, due to required repairs and maintenance, as well as increased electricity costs.
- Protective Services costs are expected to decrease by 12.3%, due in part to a reduced need for part-time and casual building inspection coverage.
- Infrastructure Services budgeted expenses are up by 9.2%, due to:
- A decrease in management salaries;
- An increase in union wages, professional services, Mapping/GIS, and cell phone costs;
- An increase in repair and maintenance costs at the Henry Road Workshop;
- Reduced costs associated with traffic signs and streetlights;
- A slight decrease in Road Maintenance costs, due in part to reduced costs for crack sealing;
- A 12% increase solid waste expenditures, which are related to enhanced street garbage service, increased garbage and organics collections costs, and increased communications;
- Planning Department expenses are expected to rise by $168,908, or 47%, over 2019. The change is mainly related to $75,000 allocated for affordable housing projects and funded by the Affordable Housing Reserve. The increase also relates to the addition of a second Planner I to the department staff.
- Parks and Cultural Services expenditures are expected to grow by 10% over 2019. The increase relates to a rise in staff training expenses, grounds keeping costs, and tree & trail maintenance, partially offset by decreases in management salaries and the budgeted amounts for Community Programs and Cultural Services.
- Fiscal Services includes bank charges, debt servicing costs and transfers to reserves. Related expenses for 2020 are expected to decrease compared to 2019, due mainly to a decrease in transfers to vehicle/capital reserves. Other transfers to reserves include $8,300 for election costs (1/4 of estimated 2023 election costs) and $32,000 (1% of taxation) for asset replacement.
With total budgeted revenues of $6,938,081 and total expenses budgeted at $6,845,302, the net result is a budgeted surplus of $92,780. This will be used to finance the current year capital/projects plan.