A lack of snow, better time management of overall city staff and a sweetheart bonus from EPCOR has all added up to a tidy $31-million surplus as the City of Edmonton has closed the budget books on 2017.
A report that will be reviewed by city council on Tuesday recommends putting most of the money into a reserve fund.
“The majority of the surplus comes from $9.9 million lower than budgeted for snow and ice control costs,” Stacey Padbury, the city’s deputy treasurer, said on Thursday.
Watch below: On March 5, 2018, Fletcher Kent filed this report about how Edmonton snow-removal efforts compare to those in other cities.
There were other big savings that added up as well. Eight-point-one million dollars came from saved labour costs from unfilled vacancies, leaves and reduced overtime.
“We’ve been working to manage overtime on an annual basis to bring overtime numbers down as best we could,” Padbury said.
The third-highest contributor to the surplus was the dividend from EPCOR.
“Our dividend is $6.6 million higher,” Padbury said. “It was higher than what was expected when we set the budget at the beginning of the year.”
While the stabilization fund will get topped up, $7.9 million will be spent in 2018. It’s money that was earmarked for projects last year, but for one reason or another, it wasn’t spent.
“Council considered $2.2 million for a bus network redesign project,” Padbury said.
Other high-level planning projects are also getting a couple of million dollars that is being carried over after council last year approved spending surplus money, but the work wasn’t ready yet to go ahead.