NEWS file photo Snow removal costs in Qualicum Beach cost the town about an additional $150,000 this year.

Snow removal cost Town of Qualicum Beach

Financial administrator says finances appear to be on budget

Despite more than $100,000 in snow removal expenses, the town’s financial administrator says Qualicum Beach appears to be on budget for the fiscal year.

At the May 29 council meeting, John Marsh said the town’s finances as of April 30 — a third of the way through the year — are looking strong. He said the revenues and expenses are in line with last year.

“Really, the only anomaly this year is the significant snow removal expenditure that we had at the beginning of the year, which was about an additional $100,000 to $150,000 depending on how you’d determine that amount,” Marsh said.

The range in expenses, Marsh said, is that snow removal is not just snow removal, but includes additional maintenance on equipment due to wear and tear.

One of the bigger differences from last year is in transportation services, said Marsh. This includes snow removal.

As of April 30, $887,875 (37.4 per cent) had been spent on transportation services as compared to $700,290 (29.5 per cent) year-to-date to April 30, 2016.

“Most of that is due to the snow removal,” said Marsh. “That budget is a bit challenging with where we are. It seems that we are levelling out a bit as we go further in the year, but nonetheless, even if we end up going over in that area, it appears that we’re going to be under in some other areas.”

Those other areas are environment and public health, parks and recreation, and to a lesser extent, Marsh said, community development.

“What happens when we have a big snow removal like we had — or snow events… is that all of the town crews get mobilized towards the snow removal, so they get moved out of, say, the parks and recreation budget and that expenditure goes in the transportation budget.”

Of the environmental and public health budget 31.3 per cent ($632,597) of its budget has been spent. Of the parks and recreation budget, 26.7 per cent ($412,531) has been spent. Of the community development budget, 28.5 per cent ($239,261) has been spent.

Marsh also said the total other municipal purposes so far is $3,682,670 (33 per cent) which is where the town should be at this point in the year.