Economy
Yellowknife

Yellowknife expects 2020 surplus to be $3.5M under budget


The City of Yellowknife’s annual surplus is expected to be at least $3.5 million lower than budgeted this year, largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

According to the city’s latest forecast and variance report – which details whether revenues and expenses could be over or under budget – Yellowknife’s surplus for 2020 is expected to be $3,560,000 less than planned.

City administrator Sheila Bassi-Kellett said that means the city is depleting its bank account and living off savings, which it can only do for so long. 

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“This council knows only too well it’s been a rollercoaster of a year,” she said during a review of the report on Monday.

Bassi-Kellett said, however, the city is expecting some relief from the territorial government. 

Of the surplus gap, $2,042,000 is attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic – which resulted in the closure of city facilities, among other measures, cutting off sources of revenues like user fees.

Meanwhile, delays to a number of capital projects will see a range of work pushed to 2021.

Because of the way capital projects are reflected in the city’s accounts, moving that work back a year explains the remaining $1,518,000 in this year’s surplus gap. 

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Bassi-Kellett said there are a “myriad of reasons” for the delays, including some cases where nobody bid on projects.

Asked if the city will have to reset its five-year capital plan, Bassi-Kellett said that will depend on the capacity of contractors and consultants to take on a larger number of projects in fewer years.

“These projects weigh heavily on our administrative teams,” she said, adding that staff will try to streamline projects that carry over into 2021.

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