The City of White Rock’s parking revenue is down so far this year.

The City of White Rock’s parking revenue is down so far this year.

Parking dollars take hit

Poor weather blamed for drop in White Rock’s metre revenue

The less-than-stellar weather so far this year has taken a bite out of parking revenues in White Rock.

That’s the word from city treasurer Sandra Kurylo, who said in her quarterly report to the finance committee that pay parking revenues were down $97,000, as of June 30, compared with the $1,333,116 generated in the same period in 2010.

At this rate, she said, the income received from the meters could be $50,000 under budget by the end of the year. But a turn in the weather, particularly a string of sunny weekends, could make a significant difference, she added, judging from trends observed in June.

“Staff have noted up to $17,000 fluctuation in revenues on a sunny Saturday versus a rainy Saturday,” she said in the report, which was to be presented to the committee Monday night, after Peace Arch News’ press time.

But there are some brighter areas in the budget currently, she indicated, including an increase in building permits in the first six months of the year, up to 94 from 86 in the same period last year.

Kurylo said staff are projecting building permit revenue of $400,000 by the end of the year, which would be $110,000 more than initial budget projections.

Investment income was also up in the first six months of 2011, to $130,900 – $94,800 higher than for the same time last year, which Kurylo said was attributable to higher short-term interest rates for the period.

While rates are hard to predict, she said, if they remain at the same level the city could be $50,000 over budget in investment income by the end of the year.

Other budget areas show only minor increases or shortfalls – largely compensating for each other, Kurylo confirmed Monday.

But a separate report from her indicates the city has spent far more this year in one area – consultants fees.

By June, the city had paid $516,733 to consultants, compared with $269,497 for the same period of 2010. But Kurylo said Monday the difference was mainly attributable to a significant number of capital improvements underway.

“The city has a substantial capital budget this year,” she told PAN. “It did have last year, but a lot of projects were not finished and were carried forward to this year.”

This includes such projects as the Centre For Active Living, the White Rock Museum and Archives renovation and upgrading of washrooms on the waterfront, she said.

In many of the projects, provincial and federal grant funding is currently being recovered by the city, she added, but at the end of the day the city must pay its portion of costs, including consultants fees, depending on the funding formula for each project.

The use of consultants also falls under criteria established by council policy, Kurylo notes in her report, which would include areas in which the required expertise is not available ‘in-house’ or for short term, one-time projects which would not be cost-effective to be handled by city staff.

Peace Arch News