Red Deer County councillors point to conservative budgeting and responsible staff that led to an unexpected $6.5 million surplus.
Hearther Surkan, Red Deer County director of corporate services, reported the updated 2017 budget to Red Deer County Council on March 6. She said the surplus came from collecting more revenue, $2.5 million, and from operating expenses coming in at $4.5 million under budget.
The leading department that came in under budget was the county’s public works, which was under budget by $2.1 million.
“I want to congratulate staff for staying on budget,” said County Mayor Jim Wood. “We have a realistic budget, but its always conservative. It’s always shown at the end of the year that we’re better off than we thought we were. We’re in a really strong financially position at Red Deer County and that doesn’t come about by accident.”
The additional revenue came from taxation, sales and user charges, government transfers, investment income, penalties, water and wastewater, licences and permits and fines.
“We budget conservatively and always keep an eye on cost containment,” said Surkan.
The $6.5 million surplus will go into the county’s operating and capital reserves. Administration had predicted a $2.6 million surplus.
“I’m feeling very confident we’re in very good hands. It speaks for itself,” said Coun. Christine Moore.