Steinbach City Council has approved the transfer of more than $2 million into a reserve fund for construction of the Southeast Event Centre.
City Manager Troy Warkentin says each year they make a number of transfers into reserves as a housekeeping measure. This list is then submitted to Council for consideration and approval.
Items on that list were originally reflected in Steinbach's 2022 budget. Some of those items ended up costing less than what was actually budgeted. At year-end, Council then transfers this unused money into its reserves.
Steinbach Administration recommended to Council that $2.1 million be transferred into its Land and Building Reserve Fund for future requirements.
"With respect to the city's event centre project that is currently underway and with some of the project costs being not quite certain at this point, Administration believes that it is prudent and makes fiscal sense to recommend the transfer of that amount to the city's Land and Building Reserve to be able to fund these costs that we know are coming," explains Warkentin.
"We know that we're still working on the event centre and we need to make sure that we have funds on hand so that we can deal with any contingencies," says City Councillor Michael Zwaagstra. "So, it makes sense to take surplus funds and put them in the reserves so that way the money is available."
Meanwhile, Warkentin says there is a certain amount of money that the city budgets every year to be transferred into its Capital Development Reserve for a series of development activities that are undertaken by developers and property owners. He notes the city budgeted $615,000. However, at year-end, the city collected about $1.8 million in development fees, which has now been forwarded to the city's reserve funds for use in future projects.
Warkentin says the city also experienced revenues in 2022 that were not anticipated. As a result, Administration recommended that additional transfers be made. For example, the city will be transferring $210,000 from its General Operating Fund to its Equipment Reserve.
"That is being recommended to be able to fund future equipment purchases that we are anticipating in the next few years," adds Warkentin.
"It's very important that we know what we have coming down the path and Administration does a fantastic job with our five,10 and 20-year capital plans," notes Councillor Damian Penner. "The best way to be able to be prepared for those is to utilize reserves and have as much cash on hand for these upcoming expenses that we know we're going to be needing the money for."
Councillor Jac Siemens says building reserve funds proves the strength of a city, which also gives the opportunity to use those dollars for various projects that come up.
Council approved the recommendations made by Steinbach Administration.