OLDS — The Town of Olds is projecting a deficit of $962,500 directly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, finance director Sheena Linderman says.
On the other hand, the pandemic is expected to create savings totalling about $676,000.
Those figures and details surrounding them were reported to council during its Oct. 5 policies and priorities meeting.
Linderman anticipates lost revenues will total of about $617,000.
The biggest chunk of those lost revenues, $205,000, is expected at the Aquatic Centre.
Revenues from building and development permits are expected to be down $150,000.
Revenues from investments are anticipated to fall by $80,000.
Other revenue losses range in size from $32,000 at the Sportsplex to $7,000 as a result of less usage of the Sunshine Bus.
The biggest savings are expected due to staffing vacancies. They’re expected to total $495,000.
Travel and conference expenses are expected to be down about $130,000.
The town has also cancelled its fire inspection contract for the remainder of 2020, saving $26,830.
Utilities costs at the Aquatic Centre and Sportsplex are expected to be down about $25,000.
Community services director Doug Wagstaff said on the upside, revenues at the Sportsplex are ticking up again now that it has been reopened for a while after having been shut down during the spring and early summer.
Linderman said one bright spot is the provincial government’s Municipal Operating Support Transfers (MOST) program.
That one-time program provides funding to municipalities to help them with operational costs due to COVID-19. It can be used to help cover costs for things like reduced revenues, cleaning, personal protective equipment (PPE) and staffing costs.
The Town of Olds is expected to receive $934,963 under that program.
Money obtained via MOST must be used by March 31 of 2021.
During the P & P meeting, chief administrative officer Michael Merritt said the town had not yet formally applied for MOST money.
“We’re still gathering information. But we will submit when we have sufficient resources identified,” he said.