City projecting $14M surplus in 2018

The City of Ottawa’s second-quarter financials have been calculated and, so far, the City appears to be in the black.

In newly-prepared documents for next week’s Finance and Economic Development Committee meeting, City Staff say, as of June 30, municipal departments are showing a surplus of about $7.6 million.

Some of the savings the City has found come from vacant job positions and lower than expected bank fees. The City also made $1.4 million in the first two quarters from the sale of surplus land and $1.6 million in investment income.

There was a $1.8 million deficit in the Community and Social Services department, which staff say is the result of sick-day expenses, 24/7 staff coverage, and an increase in housing services requests.

Looking ahead to the end of the year, staff predict a $14.4 million surplus, owing in large part to investment income, and lower than predicted costs for things like bank fees, hydro, gas, as well as savings from vacant job posts.

A couple of departments do see red ink. The $1.8 million deficit in Community and Social Services is expected to balloon to $5.7 million by the end of the year, again because of staffing and housing costs. There is also projected to be a $475 thousand deficit in the budget line for elected officials, because of severance payments for councillors who are not seeking re-election.