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Committee receives first quarter budget update showing surplus

From the City of Ottawa

The Finance and Corporate Services Committee heard today that, for the first quarter of 2024, the City is showing an overall tax and rate supported year-to-date surplus of nearly $3.5 million.  The figures were included in a status update on the 2024 Tax and Rate Operating and Capital Budget.

Year-to-date tax-supported results show a surplus of just under $2.3 million, mainly driven by a surplus in Roads Services due to a mild first half of the 2024 winter season. The non-departmental surplus is mainly due to higher investment income from higher investment balances and interest rates and higher penalty and interest revenues due to a higher amount of tax arrears. The rate-supported results show a $1.2-million surplus, due primarily to vacancies and higher than anticipated usage, resulting in higher than budgeted revenues.

The Committee also received an update of City procurement activities in 2023, which noted $1.6 billion in contracts, including purchases equal to or over $25,000 made under delegation of authority. The City awarded $1.3 billion in contracts using a competitive solicitation process. When considering contracts where there was no option but to award to a specific supplier, 97 per cent of the purchases were deemed competitive.

City procurement strongly supported the local economy, with 92 per cent of purchased goods and services in 2023 being from local businesses. Overall, 99.9 per cent of the City’s procurement included sustainability criteria. The City’s evaluation of its vendors showed 97 per cent of projects have received satisfactory scores.

The Committee supported the purchase of 100 Constellation Drive when the City’s lease on the property ends in February 2026. Purchasing the property would represent significant savings for the City. While the property’s current market value is $84.4 million, the price set out in the City’s lease is predetermined at $10 million. Closing costs on the acquisition are estimated at $2.2 million, bringing the City’s total cost to $12.2 million – a savings of $72.2 million. As the owner, the City would also save about $5.3 million a year in rent after accounting for regular capital repair costs.

The Committee received a progress report on Ᾱdisōke, the new Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada joint facility. Recently completed milestones include the structural components for the curved roof, all steel work on the feature staircases, and the fifth-floor mechanical room. For the remainder of the year, construction will include finishing details on the curved roof, completing exterior stonework, installing windows, and undertaking interior work related to mechanical, electrical and plumbing components. The project remains on budget and on schedule with opening anticipated in summer 2026.

Items from today’s meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, June 12.

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