The city's financial services department is predicting a $500,000 to $1 million deficit, according to the third quarter financial report that was presented to Moose Jaw City Council on Monday night. 

Expenditures were sitting at $46.4 million after the third quarter or 80 per cent of the annual budget. 

Public works' expenditures are about $4.1 million, which is 86 per cent of its overall budget. The majority of the increases were in road maintenance and repair, which used up 115 per cent of its budget. Snow removal operations utilized 86 per cent of its budget and gravel roads used 128 per cent of its budget. 

The city's workshop area sits at 174 per cent of its budget due to equipment maintenance costs. 

Transit services are at 125 per cent of its budget as the city sees increased costs for vehicle maintenance, which includes fuel costs. Para-transit is also seeing similar cost increases. 

The distribution area for waterworks is sitting at 89 per cent of its budget. However, waterworks revenue is at 75 per cent at the end of the third quarter. 

The good news is that wastewater is sitting on budget at 74 per cent as sewage treatment has only spent 47 per cent of its budget and sanitary sewer has spent 95 per cent of its budget. 

The city has seen increased landfill operation costs that have put them at 101 per cent of its budget. Yet, revenues are 88 per cent of the landfill's budget due to additional revenues being received to offset the additional costs. 

The city's revenues, as of June 30, were $53.5 million or about 92 per cent of the annual budget. Revenues are expected to come close to budget with a small shortfall of $200,000. 

According to the director of financial services Brian Acker, tax notices were out late because the finance department was transitioning over to a new system. Tax notices did go out with a due date of Sept. 30 and the revenue is about $490,000 more than budgeted. Taxation penalties and surcharges were less than budgeted after the third quarter due to the tax notices going out a couple of months late. 

Licences and permits are going to be close to budget. The financial department is keeping an eye on building permits as they are trending to be $125,000 less than budgeted. 

Fines and penalties were down due to issues with the automated speed enforcement cameras. 

"In the last quarter, we have been informed by SGI, who are the providers of those cameras that there were some significant issues with the cameras which caused a significant amount of fine revenue to be missed and therefore not available to the City of Moose Jaw," Acker said. 

Acker said the city would normally see about $800,000 in fine revenue, but this year the city will be looking at closer to $320,000. He added that SGI has informed the city that the issues with the cameras have been fixed. 

Meanwhile, investment earnings were showing up in the negatives because of the late tax notices. 

"Again the reason for that is because of our tax revenues being so late in getting out our tax notices, the general revenue fund for the majority of the year has been overdrawn, so it hasn't been generating interest, it has been charged interest. We do expect that to turn into a positive position for the remainder of the year but unfortunately, we won't generate that full amount of interest that had been budgeted," Acker explained. 

Revenues for the city's user charges and fees were reported to be strong after the third quarter at 85 per cent of its budget. The city has seen increases in revenue from the Yara Centre, Pla-Mor Palace due to its extended season, the Kinsmen Sportsplex pool and grant revenues. It is expected user fees will generate about $190,000 in added revenue for the city. 

Revenue is down when it comes to other contributions at 61 per cent of the budget due to a shortfall of about $200,000 in administrative overhead revenue. 

As for the Moose Jaw Events Centre, it is trending under budget and the subsidy required by the city. As of Sept. 30, food and beverage sales at the facility were $1.1 million with a net profit of $321,972. 

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