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The City of Saint John sign is pictured in this file photo. Image: Aaron Sousa

Saint John saw $2.7M surplus in 2023

By Brad Perry May 24, 2024 | 6:05 AM

Higher revenues mean a considerable surplus for the City of Saint John.

The municipality ended the 2023 fiscal year with a surplus of more than $2.7 million.

Unaudited financial results were presented to council’s finance committee on Wednesday.

Year-end revenue was just over $6 million higher than staff had initially budgeted, coming in at $183.3 million.

However, Craig Lavigne, the city’s comptroller, cautioned that most of that was from one-time revenues.

“Meaning the city did not achieve the surplus by reducing its expenses, which would have resulted in less service delivery,” Lavigne told committee members.

Among some of the one-time monies coming in were $3.7 million in interest revenues and $561,000 in building permits.

Meanwhile, overall expenses came in at $180.5 million, about $3.2 million more than what staff had budgeted for.

Public works and transportation services saw the largest negative variance at $926,000 over budget. The transit subsidy ended up being $683,000 more than budgeted

Meanwhile, public safety services were under budget by more than $1.2 million, mainly due to salaries and benefits coming in lower than expected.

Coun. Gary Sullivan, who chairs the finance committee, said he is glad to see the city recording a surplus.

“All the service areas were kind of in the ballpark of their budget at the end of the day,” he said. “A thank you goes out to our service areas for monitoring things and keeping us on an even keel.”

The surplus will be transferred to reserves for a comprehensive recreation facility.