City records $219M surplus, but officials warn COVID fallout isn’t over

DM

The City of Calgary ended 2020 with a $219.3-million surplus after government aid packages arrived to help cover the pandemic-fuelled revenue crisis for municipalities across Canada. The number is significantly higher than the $98-million surplus that council’s audit committee heard about last week. That’s because that total included the financials from wholly owned subsidiaries, including Enmax. Strictly looking at city operations, the surplus is bigger. The final calculation also includes about $146 million in cuts and savings that the city found last year to offset revenue losses and additional costs from COVID-19, which dug a $114-million hole in the budget. But the city isn’t just sitting on the money. Chief financial officer Carla Male told council’s finance committee on Tuesday that the federal and provincial operating support, known as the Municipal Operating Support Transfer (MOST), didn’t arrive until late last year, totalling nearly $200 million. The city is putting $100 million of the surplus it has now toward the Greater Downtown Plan, which council approved Monday.

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