(December 10, 2013) Halifax – HRM is on track to see a surplus of $6.1 million at the end of 2013/14, new budget forecasts show.
Finance staff will present the Second Quarter Financial Report to Regional Council today, Dec. 10. HRM has a budget of approximately $800 million for 2013/14.
“It’s still early in the fiscal year, but the departments have been working hard to tighten up operations and if everything continues as we’ve projected, HRM will see a small surplus at the end of March 2014,” said Greg Keefe, Chief Financial Officer. “This is good news for HRM residents who expect their tax dollars to be spent wisely, responsibly and in the best interest of residents and their families.”
The report shows that vacant employment positions in all departments contributed the bulk of the projected surplus. For the first six months of 2013/14, approximately 400 positions across HRM were vacant for some period of time. That number at the end of September was just over 200 positions, with projected savings of $8.1 million. Those savings are projected to be offset by an increase in overtime costs of $1.4 million.
HRM anticipates a savings of $1 million in debt and administrative costs. The report also notes prior year surpluses of $2.6 million from Metro Transit and $4.6 million from HRM.
Offsetting any future surplus is a projected revenue drop of $1.6 million. Other additional projected costs include $2.7 million related to a storm water decision by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board and $1 million to clean up contaminated sites in HRM. The report also notes that Metro Transit is projecting a $2-million transfer to reserve funds and will carry forward a previous $1.5-million surplus to 2014/15.
Vacancy savings $8.1 Overtime $-1.4 Debt & administrative savings
Prior year savings – Transit $2.6 Prior year savings – HRM $4.6 Storm water decision $-2.7 Contaminated sites $-1.0 Revenue reductions $-1.6 Reserves – Transit $-2.0 Current year surplus – Transit $-1.5
For more details or to read the entire second quarter financial report, go online at www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/131210ca1121.pdf.