The City of Chambly ended fiscal year 2020 with a surplus in revenues of $7,700,832, as a result of a very active resale market, as well as a slowdown in expenses and projects due to the pandemic. The Deloitte firm therefore issued an unqualified audit report.
On the one hand, operating revenues exceeded forecasts by $4.4M, mostly for the following reasons:
- a very active building resale market, at values exceeding municipal assessments, generated additional capital transfer taxes of nearly $850,000;
- maintaining Municipal Court activities during the pandemic allowed to generate additional revenues of $260,000;
- the Government of Quebec confirmed a special grant of $2.7M to compensate for losses in revenues and expenses related to COVID-19;
- efforts by residents to collect recyclable and organic materials generated over $250,000 in government fees;
- a balance of $340,000 coming mostly from the sale of land.
Moreover, operating expenses dropped by $3.3M compared to forecasts, for various reasons, including:
- uncompleted projects, cancellation of leisure and cultural activities, as well as a drop in other expenses, for an amount of nearly $2M, related to the pandemic context;
- refunding of an overpayment to the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain for the year 2018;
- savings on expenses related to water treatment and distribution operations and the allocation of these savings to a reserve fund for future investments at the water filtration plant;
- reducing the debt service through anticipated loan repayments and very low interest rates.
On the topic of investments, expenses amounting to $4.7M can be broken down as follows:
- refurbishing of roads, water mains and sewers ($1.7M);
- parks, playgrounds and green spaces ($1M);
- vehicle replacement plan, procurement of machinery, tools and equipment ($1.2M);
- administrative and community buildings and lots ($800,000).
It should be noted that investments related to the refurbishing of road infrastructures will gain momentum starting in 2021, thanks to an important financial contribution from the Government of Canada and Quebec.
The City of Chambly Finance Department routinely produces comparative analyses of the financial situation with cities of similar size. In general, these show lower than average tax revenues and expenses per capita, as well as lower average debt service and debt ratios. On the other hand, accumulated surpluses amount to more than twice the average and represent a major financial leverage to catch up on investments in infrastructures and municipal assets.
SPECIAL COVID-19 GRANT
In October 2020, the Government of Quebec announced $800M in financial aid for all municipalities, in order to alleviate the impacts of the pandemic on municipal finances. This support will help compensate for all losses in revenues caused by this situation, as well as help with expenses to cover health measures, adapt various services and provide support to organizations. This support provided to the City of Chambly, for a confirmed amount of $2.7M, can be spent in 2020 and 2021, while accountability is targeted towards residents and not government.
In 2020, expenses accounted for through this special COVID-19 support can be summarized as follows:
|Salaries of staff and special payments||$500,000|
|Rental of laptops and replacement of computers||$56,000|
|Support to organizations: CCIBC ($8,000), Aux Sources du Bassin de Chambly ($8,000), L’Entraide Plus ($8,000), Journal de Chambly ($10,650), other ($1,850)||$36,500|
|Health products, signage and building sanitizing||$122,500|
|Loss in revenues: day camps
($350,000) and other sports and cultural
|Interest and penalty holiday on tax payments
(March 24 to June 30, 2020)