Financial Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the City of Kamloops Budget
April 8, 2020 - Preliminary Financial Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic on the City of Kamloops Budget
With the COVID-19 pandemic and declaration of a provincial state of emergency, the City must review the 2020 provisional budget and the 2020–2024 Five-Year Financial Plan in order to factor in the previously unforeseen financial impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has on the budget.
While the ultimate economic impact of the pandemic will not be fully understood until we are well past the state of emergency, the City must consider the preliminary financial picture in order to make strategic decisions today that are in the best interest of the organization and community for the long term.
At the April 7 Regular Council Meeting, Kathy Humphrey, the City's Corporate Services Director, highlighted the City’s current financial challenges in addressing the impacts of the pandemic, as we plan for the recovery phase of the emergency. To comply with the various orders from public health authorities across the country, the City has closed many of its facilities and reduced service levels.
Based on the current information, Administration has assessed the potential impact of extending the existing facility closures and service reductions for two scenarios—a three-month period to the end of June 2020 and a six-month period to the end of September 2020. Read the full report.
In order to address immediate budget shortfalls while ensuring sufficient cash flow to continue with City operations, Administration recommended taking an approach that defers projects to future years, reduces service levels as needed, and supplements additional budget shortfalls with funding from reserves.
Council directed Administration to bring forward a budget report to the April 21, 2020, Council Meeting that balances the 2020 budget and the 2020–2024 Five-Year Financial Plan by:
- delaying non-essential supplemental items
- identifying projects, based on risk, that cannot or should not proceed in 2020 and defer these to a future year
- adjusting the operating and capital budgets, including service levels, to reduce costs to reflect the impact of COVID-19 on City services and planned projects
- identifying appropriate reserves to balance the budget after operating and capital adjustments have been made
- providing options, based on expected provincial direction, for delaying property tax payment deadlines and penalties and providing incentives for early payment
- providing options for delaying utility payment deadlines and penalties and providing incentives for early payment
For other budget-related information and resources, visit the Budget Consultation 2020 Let's Talk page.