In May, Ian Davey, Cobourg’s treasurer, reported on the financial impact of the pandemic plus he forecast the impact for the year. In September, he reported on the numbers for the first two quarters. On Tuesday, October 20, he will report the status up to October 15 – and it looks good. Although revenue is down by $2M, expenses are also down by $2M. Add back $400K in extra expenses because of virus protection measures and the net loss is $417K. But from a Town’s finances point of view, this is more than compensated by Federal/ Provincial funding to date of $678K leaving a net surplus of $261K. Needless to say, the Town will not be applying for the second phase of the Provincial/ Federal “Safe Restart” program.
So how did this happen? See the full report in the links below but let me summarize.
Revenues – summary of losses – highlights
|Reduced Parking Revenue||$516K|
|Cobourg Community Centre reduced revenue||$980K|
|Concert Hall reduced revenue||$163K|
Expenses – summary of reductions – highlights (excludes some items, see overview summary below).
|Transit – Reduced Service||$250K|
|No beach Lifeguards||$105K|
|Community Centre – reduced costs||$166K|
|Concert hall – reduced costs||$60K|
|Tourism – reduced advertising||$50K|
|Special Events – reduced costs||$19K|
|Seniors’ Activity Centre – reduced costs||$44K|
|Tax Cancellations – above budget||($175K)|
Total net Reduction in Expenses $880K
|Reduction in Revenue||$1,988K|
|Reduction in Expenses||($880K)|
|Reduced spending on conferences||($80K)|
|Staffing savings – Details not provided||($1010)|
|Estimated Covid-19 Expenses Oct to Dec.||$75K|
Offset by Provincial/ Federal Funding to date $678K
Net estimated position as of 15 October, 2020 $261K
That’s right, more than a quarter million surplus.
This is the first time (in my recollection) that “staffing” has been reported as a separate line item. Mostly we get reporting by department where staffing costs are buried. In the first half report, the biggest saving was in Community Services, so it’s likely that some of the Staffing savings are due to a reduction in hiring of summer students (and perhaps no replacements of turnover). Ian’s report labels additional details on Staffing as Confidential. But whatever was done, this reduction in spending was successful in managing the financial problem caused by the pandemic.
Perhaps more details will be provided at Tuesday’s special Council meeting although a closed session is scheduled to discuss this item.
- Financials for First Half – 27 September 2020
- Financial impact of pandemic – initial review 22 May 2020
- Covid-19 Financial Update #2 – Download Ian’s report
20 October 2020: The Cobourg Taxpayers Association has another view of this. From a cash standpoint, the surplus is $91K, not $261K. Download their analysis here.