Corporate services director Kathy Humphrey said the City of Kamloops is doing a “whole bunch of number crunching” as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts all aspects of operations.
“This is a situation that is evolving day by day,” she said. “We’re trying to figure out what the impacts of facilities being closed and all sorts of different things on our budget. We don’t have anything yet, but we are working on something to take to council in the next couple of weeks.”
Humphrey said the city is looking at everything from revenues to expenditures to the planned property tax increase of just under three per cent.
“It’s possible. I don’t know at this point,” Humphrey said of a change in the tax hike. “From the city’s budget perspective, taxes are only one factor of the revenue we get in. Our budget is about $165 million, of which only about $115 [million] is taxes. We are doing an analysis of what’s happened to all of those other revenues and what’s happened to those expenditures, trying to figure out. Ultimately, the goal is to balance the budget. There’s a lot of moving parts and a lot of information that we don’t know at this point.”
Capital projects are part of that review.
“We’re looking at all those things. It’s more than just the budget,” Humphrey said.
“We’re looking at it from a what’s in the budget perspective, what is actually doable, based on procurement issues and supply chain with borders and planes being closed, with staffing levels with contractors, with a whole variety of risks in terms of capital projects. That will be part of this discussion, in terms of do we have cashflow, do we have people, can we get supplies, what’s the risk of getting it done, what’s the priority of getting it done? All of those things are being factored in.”
Humphrey noted the situation remains fluid.
“We’re only a couple of weeks into this whole scenario,” she said. “We’re trying to guess what are we doing for projects, what are we doing for people, what are we able to obtain, how long are facilities being closed? What is the medical health officer going to tell us we are allowed to do and not allowed to do? All of those things play into trying to predict what the future looks like.”