Financial report shows signs of improvements for city hall

Revelstoke's financial outlook is improving, but it's still not doing well, according to city's financial performance report.

For the first time in several years, City of Revelstoke Finance Director Graham Inglis isn’t chiming the alarm bells over the city’s financial position — though the city’s position still isn’t exactly all that great.

“The city’s overall indebtedness continues to be substantially higher than other members of the comparison group and both averages,” Inglis wrote. “At the time of writing this report, Council has taken steps through the financial planning process to reduce debt and to increase reserves. Over time, these initiatives should reflect in a reduction in Revelstoke’s overall debt position and an improvement in its net financial assets.”

Those are Inglis’ words in his annual financial performance report, which compares Revelstoke’s performance with that of Smithers, Castlegar, Terrace, Golden, Fernie and Summerland; as well as an average of all B.C. municipalities with a population between 5,000 and 10,000, and an average of all municipalities not including Vancouver.

In previous year’s, the comparison was to Castlegar, Nelson, Golden, Kimberley, Merritt, Quesnel and Salmon Arm.

The numbers are for the year 2012, the latest for which data is available.

The report is less dire than in past years, when Inglis warned of a detoriorating financial position. It is difficult to see exactly how Revelstoke’s performance has changed compared to its peers due to the change in comparison groups.

The report shows Revelstoke has $18,168,580 in financial assets in 2012, up more than $2.5 million compared to 2011. However, its financial liabilities went up by close to $3 million, to $28,631,079.

In terms of assets, Revelstoke was the highest in the comparison group, and similar to that of the 5–10K group. Revelstoke’s liabilities were many times higher than all similar municipalities, except Summerland, which were higher.

Liabilities per capita were almost $4,000 — well more than double the average of all B.C. municipalities.

Revelstoke’s net financial assets sat at a deficit of more than $10 million at the end of 2012. Only Summerland performed worse in this regard.

Revelstoke had $61,154,237 in non-financial assets (machinery, buildings, infrastructure, etc…) at the end of 2012 — similar to other communities in the comparison group, but less than the 5–10K group, which averaged closer to $100,000,000.

Revelstoke’s total debt at the end of 2012 was $20,129,067.

“This is almost double the average of all municipalities in B.C. as well as municipalities with populations of between 5,000 and 10,000. It is significantly more than all other members of the comparison group except Summerland,” wrote Inglis. “It is indicative of Revelstoke’s continuing reliance on borrowing as a method of funding its capital expenditure programme, in the absence of sufficient reserve funds or DCC’s. It is also indicative of the city’s commitment to investing in its infrastructure.”

Revelstoke’s debt per capita was more than $2,500, compared to the provincial average of about $500.

The ratio of long-term debt to total revenue was 1.04 in 2012. That means the city’s debt is higher than its revenue, so if it wanted to pay it all off next year, it couldn’t. The year before the ratio was 0.93.

Revelstoke’s accumulated surplus — the combination of equity in physical combined with operating, capital and reserved funds – was less than comparison communities and only about half the 5–10K group.

Consolidated revenues, which include all revenue sources, were $2,668 per capita — similar to the 5–10K group, but higher than most of the comparison group and the provincial average.

Revelstoke’s tax revenue per capita was $1,279 per capita — similar to the 5-10K group but higher than all comparison communities.

Revelstoke outpaced all but Fernie and Golden in the comparison group when it came to transfers from the province.

The city spent $2,544 per capita — second only to Fernie in the comparison group. The average for all B.C. municipalities was $2,230; and for municipalities in the 5–10K group, it was $2,400.

The biggest driver of costs were general government, transportation, which includes roadworks and snow removal; protective services, parks & recreation, and development services. For general government, Revelstoke spent less than most. In terms of development services and protective services, Revelstoke spent more than all other comparison groups. Transportation costs were a big driver of expenses, at $533 per capita in 2012, a result of high snow removal costs here.

The city also spent more than average on parks, recreation and culture, which Inglis attributes to the fact Revelstoke has a small surrounding population, so there’s little opportunity for cost-sharing with the rural area.

Spending on water was less than average, while spending on sewer was in line with the provincial average.

“Our operating expenses are generally within normal ranges but, where they do show higher than other members of the comparison group (e.g. transportation) there is an understandable rationale why this is so,” concludes Inglis. “Residential property taxes continue to show on the low side based on an average single family dwelling comparison and sales of services per capita are also low compared to other municipalities. This provides capacity for revenue generation to reduce the reliance on borrowing and bolster reserves.”

 

Revelstoke Financial Performance Report by AlexCooperRTR

Just Posted

Syrian family soon to arrive in Revelstoke

Revelstoke for Refuges held an information session at the library on the soon-to-be Revelstokians

Revelstoke resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

New auxilory conservation officer in Revelstoke area – for now

Zeb Martin has primarliy been hired for monitoring caribou closures

Revelstoke Rod and Gun club supports fishing proposal with conditions

The proposal considers reopening Revelstoke Reach of the Columbia Reach to angling

Jocelyn’s Jottings: A postive take on resolutions

In the last column I wrote I looked back on 2018. This… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Missing B.C. boy and aunt found safe

The pair had been reported missing from Kamloops

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Shuswap youth shares vision for national event with Justin Trudeau

Salmon Arm Friendship Day founder gains politicial insight in meeting with prime minister

Social media strains over Prince Rupert’s boil water notice

Resident forms Community for Clean Water, and Jennifer Rice responds to acting mayor’s comments

Dog dies saving B.C. family from burning home

Homeowners safe but one pet missing, another confirmed dead following fire

Russian fighter jets collide over Sea of Japan crews eject

One plane crashed after its crew ejected safely, the other crew also ejected but they have not been found

Most Read