Penticton City Hall. (File photo)

Penticton City Hall. (File photo)

Penticton forecasting $1.2M operating budget surplus for 2021

Money from construction boom in the city is driving the extra revenue

The City of Penticton is looking to end 2021 with a $1.2 million surplus, despite pulling additional funds from the city’s reserves and ongoing legal action against the province.

The city’s operating budget is expected to end the year better than expected from the start of 2021, according to the third-quarter financial report being presented to council on Tuesday, Oct. 19.

The surplus is largely being driven by a surge in construction beyond the expectations when the budget was assembled and approved, as well as unspent grants for cancelled events and anticipated RCMP vacancies.

The city had initially budgeted a withdrawal of $173k from the city’s general reserves, but additional amendments and projects largely put forward by the city’s COVID Recovery Task Force led to pulling $651k so far instead.

The city’s legal action against the provincial government over the Winnipeg Street shelter was also added to the budget with an expected $200,000 in costs by the end of the year.

Construction is the largest driver of the increased revenue for the city, with an expected $750k above what had been budgeted for the year.

READ MORE: Construction returns as Penticton heads towards 4th biggest year

Inspection fees and planning application fees are also expected to be higher due to the increase in construction this year by $54k and $23k respectively.

The city’s forecasts aren’t all glowing, as recreation, transit and parking revenues all saw drops below the 2021 budget predictions largely due to the continued impact of COVID-19. No value for the drop was listed for parking revenues, but recreation is expected to drop by $98k and transit by $38k by the end of the year.

On the other hand, due to COVID-19 the expenses for the city’s recreational programs are expected to be $146k less than budgeted due to less staff and programming, while not printing the bi-annual recreation guide is expected to save $17k.

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