Minutes from an April 15 budget meeting states, “Current situation: Working in a deficit.”
Council has been meeting over the past month to deal with the budget. A balanced budget must be passed by May 15.
At a budget meeting on the afternoon of Monday, May 5 council was looking at the latest numbers that list deficit spending for 2013 at $99,980.
Mayor Nipper Kettle said the deficit occurred when amounts received from the province under the Small Community Grants envelope varied from one year to the next.
He said the city was aware of the issue and should have been amortizing the grant over the four year life of the funding agreement.
Kettle said when he was first elected he became aware that the grants from provincial and federal governments would fluctuate.
“We were to amortize the Small Community Grant over the four years—apparently that did not get done,” he said.
Budget line items across the board are being held or cut as much as possible.
One notably exception is the amount set aside for legal fees is increasing from $3,653 to $20,000.
When asked by the Times why that item was going up so dramatically, Kettle replied, “That is something we can’t tell you about. It is a project that the city is working on.”
City council will meet at 8 a.m. on Friday, May 9 to continue work on the budget.