Morinville Reports $1.5 Million Budget Surplus in Early 2024

by Colin Smith

The first part of the year saw the Town of Morinville’s finances in good shape, with a budgetary surplus of almost $1.5 million.

Also showing a surplus is the council budget, which covers council members’ salaries, benefits and operating expenses.

The figures come from the 2024 Financial Update, covering January to April, presented to council at its regular meeting on Tuesday, July 9, along with T1 Strategic Plan Progress Report.

Total revenues from net taxes, government grants, user fees and charges in the year to date were about $100,000 less than the budgeted $1.76 million.

However, total operating and other expenses, budgeted at $4,515,993, amounted to $3,048,016, for a favourable variance of $1,467,977.

Lower than budgeted expenses include salaries/wages/benefits, $3,220,904 rather than $4,171,742, and general and contracted services, $1,647,966 versus $2,739,266.

Utility fees are a major cause of lower revenues, according to the update, but these will be higher over the next four months. Also, Morinville still needs to receive grant money, usually transferred by the provincial government, at this point. Tax money paid out to Alberta Education and Homeland Housing is so far greater than the amount collected.
With summer maintenance and construction season underway, the revenue surplus is expected to begin evening out over the course of the year.

The update points out that the figures presented for salaries and benefits always lag one pay period behind, which inflates the positive variance of salaries and benefits.

The council operating budget for the first four months of the year was $182,427, while actual expenses totalled $136,955, for a surplus of  $45,476.

Council salaries and benefits amounted to $106,731, while $135,754 had been budgeted.

The actual figures were lower than budgeted for all council members.
Mayor Simon Boersma received $20,276 in honorarium and per diems over the four months. The budget for him was $24,767.

The budget for councillor honorariums and per diems was $14,412 each, with actual expenditures ranging from $10,704 to $11,804.

Other council expenses included $30,224 for professional development, mileage and subsistence, memberships and associations, telecommunications and public relations, and $20,181 for salary staff group benefits and payroll taxes, also under budget.

At its June 25 meeting council passed a motion by Councillor Stephen Dafoe that the administration be directed to examine council per diems and other line items (such as how many external meetings councillors attend and mileage allowances) to identify where reductions could be made to reflect what is actually being used.

A total of $4,917,000 is budgeted for town capital projects, tax-supported and utility-supported, in the current year.

With the projects still in the planning/development phase or net started, only 0.2% of that amount was spent during the first four months of the year.

The T1 Strategic Plan Progress Report, presented by CAO Nareem Narayan, pointed to highlights of the January to April period.

These include the introduction of the FlexReg program registration system, a special engagement session that addressed programming for older adults and seniors, the Family Day Glow Skate and the unveiling of the More in Morinville promotional campaign in conjunction with local developers.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Comment

  1. Congratulations on the surplus. Can you avoid the urge to spend the money? Perhaps put it towards lowering next years tax increase that is already in the budget?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.