The General Operating Fund is the Town’s main operating fund. It captures the costs associated with providing the following municipal services to residents and property owners:
- Corporate Administration
- ICBC/Driver Services
- Financial Services
- Planning Services
- Protective Services (Building, Bylaw, Animal Control)
- Infrastructure Services
- Municipal Buildings
- Public Works: Roads, Drainage, Solid Waste, Snow Removal, District Energy Utility, Fleet
- Parks and Cultural Services
Revenues to fund the services listed above come from:
- Property taxation
- Garbage and organic program user 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
On February 22, 2022, the Director of Finance presented the Preliminary Operating Budget at a Special Committee of the Whole. (Read the related Staff Report here. View a spreadsheet of the Preliminary General Operating Budget here. Watch a video recording of the meeting here.)
The Preliminary Operating Budget included a 2% increase in taxation, which resulted in operating revenue of $7,648,181, a 6% increase over 2021. Total expenditures, debt payments and transfers to reserves were budgeted at $7,509,670, which is also a 6% increase over 2021. The net result is a budgeted surplus of $138,511, which can be used for: financing the current year capital projects plan; transfers to reserves; funding requests by external organizations; and/or additional considerations by Council.
On March 8, 2022, the Director of Finance presented Update #1 to the General Operations Budget which reflected the adjustments made by Council during the February 22, 2022 meeting and additional operational items identified by staff, including:
- Boosting SD46 Bursary from $1,500 to $2,000, with $1,000 going to Elphinstone Secondary School and $1,000 going to the Sunshine Coast Alternative School.
- Adding a line item to support the Sunshine Coast Hospice, with the funding to be equal to $1/Town resident, based on the most recent Census count. For 2022, that equals $4,758.
- Extending the COVID-19 Community Grant program ($20,000)
- Annual funding for the Howe Sound Reference Guide – Phase 2 ($1,200)
- Adjustments to recognize additional rental and general recovery revenue ($10,310)
- Adjustment to operational requirements ($42,350)
These changes resulted in a revised 2022 projected surplus of $100,024.
On March 22, 2022, the Director of Finance presented Update #2 to the General Operations Budget which reflected a recommendation by Council that the 5% annual policing reserve allocation which was established in 2021, be reduced to 2.5% for 2022, putting the balance back to surplus. This resulted in a 2022 projected surplus of $192,500, with these funds available to finance additional operational requirements, a portion of the current year capital projects/plan, transfers to reserves or additional considerations by Council.
On March 29, 2022, the Director of Finance presented Update #3 to the General Operations Budget. At that meeting, Council discussed various projects and made the following changes:
- Increase the Active Transportation Plan project budget from $40,000 to $50,000 in order to fully maximize the potential grant funding available
- Increase the DPA2 project budget from $25,000 to $40,000
- Move the Dog Park Fencing project from 2022 to 2023
Council also recommended that the Gower Point Traffic Calming project be funded by Gas Tax, and that the Glassford Road Traffic Calming Options project be funded by Gas Tax, unless it meets the criteria of the Active Transportation Network Upgrades grant and can be paid for through that funding. As a result of these recommendations, Council was able to reduce the 2022 annual tax rates from the proposed 4.2% to 2.2%.