“2020 has been a year none of us will soon forget. It all started with over 1,500 athletes, coaches and officials descending on Fort St. John for the 2020 BC Winter Games for four days in February, ”Mayor Lori Ackerman said in the report. .
“Only a few weeks later, the world changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. Once again, we have come together as a community to support each other. “
CFO David Joy’s presentation included a risk assessment of the City’s financial conditions for 2020. The Financial Metrics Program was developed by three parties in Nova Scotia.
“[The program] assesses municipal risk and allows Fort St. John to accurately visualize our financial performance by providing an easy-to-understand snapshot of our strengths and areas where we may need to focus more, ”says the annual report.
The “performance balance sheet” has been divided into three dimensions: income, budget and debt and capital. Each of the 14 key indicators under the sections was rated from low to high.
The majority of the indicators were ranked low, the use of transfers (39.72%), the three-year change in the tax base (-4.43%) and the deficits over the last five years (2) being reported as high risk.
The overall assessment met the low risk threshold due to 11 remaining low financial condition indicators.
The majority of revenue in 2020 came from government assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic ($ 34.34 million). Net municipal property taxes ($ 31.52 million) and the sale of services ($ 11.67 million) were also important sources of revenue.
The City spent the most money on protective services ($ 17.59 million), transportation ($ 16.67 million), and general government services ($ 9.62 million).
The City came out of 2020 with a deficit of just under $ 18,000.
“There are several reasons, both favorable and unfavorable, for the way the City arrived at this small deficit. The variance analysis was carried out by comparing the actual 2020 figures to the 2020 budget. No comparison was made with the actual 2019 figures due to the significant effect of the COVID-19 pandemic ”, indicates The report.
Due to the pandemic, the city canceled a proposed tax increase, increased garbage collection, waived late fees on utility bills, and delayed the late penalty for property taxes.
“Council approved the Temporary Outdoor Patio and Retail Program to help our restaurants, pubs and stores expand their outdoor activities to meet provincial health ordinances,” Ackerman said in the report.
“We formed the Mayor’s Standing Committee on Community Economic Recovery, focusing on community recovery and resilience after the pandemic. With support from the Northern Development Initiative Trust, the committee provided 80 businesses and nonprofits with COVID-19 Business Support Grants to offset part of the costs of the new security requirements and supplies. “
The following five objectives are part of the city’s five-year program Strategic plan approved by the board in 2018:
- Improve community economic development to provide opportunity and sustainability in Fort St. John.
- Demonstrate leadership in environmental responsibility through sustainable and efficient practices for municipal operations.
- Build and manage public assets and human resources that meet the current and future needs of the community.
- Initiate and foster partnerships that will benefit Fort St. John. Advocate for decision makers on issues that impact the community.
- Update downtown Fort St. John as a social, vibrant and liveable hub, as articulated in the Fort St. John Downtown Action Plan.
The report also highlighted the 2020 City Professional Development Award from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators.
Accessed the full report below: