The city’s third quarter financial report shows a projected operating budget deficit of $56.8 million and an additional shortfall of $17.2 million for Winnipeg Transit.
The financial status and forecast report, which looks at the city’s finances up to the end of September, will be presented to the finance committee Dec. 1.
The report shows high fuel rates and significant snowfall last winter led to a forecasted $40.9 million over-expenditure for snow and ice removal for the year.
A release from the city Friday says rising fuel costs have “escalated beyond what was anticipated in the 2022 budget update” leading to a forecasted $10.7-million financial hit, largely impacting the operating budgets for Winnipeg Transit and the city’s general revenue fund.
“The third quarter financial report continues to show how the City has been challenged by the continued financial impacts of COVID-19 while also contending with significant over-expenditures in snow and ice operations this year,” said finance committee chair, Coun. Jeff Browaty, in the release.
The report shows COVID-19 is also continuing to negatively affect the city’s bottom line.
According to the report, as of Sept. 30, COVID-19 has led to an estimated $12.1-million in costs over and above the $41.3 million the city had anticipated the pandemic would have in its 2022 budget.
Browaty said the city’s financial general reserve fund may be left “significantly depleted” if it’s drawn on to avoid a deficit in the general revenue fund.
“Current projections show a year-end balance of the reserve fund to be $14.5 million, which is far below the Council-mandated minimum balance,” he said in a city release.
“The limited resources remaining in the Fiscal Stabilization Fund will need to be considered in the 2023 annual budget update.”