Financial Reports & City Budget
At the City of Fernie we are committed to sound financial management, and are required by legislation to present a balanced budget every spring.
The City of Fernie's Financial & Computer Services Department is responsible for the budgeting process which includes preparation, implementation and on-going monitoring of the City's budgets. The department is responsible for income and expenditure reports, in-year reporting, and for preparing the City's Financial Statements.
Like other municipalities and organizations, the City is facing external economic pressures, including the current global economy, health care, increasing expectations and other costs pressures. Our budget looks to balance these competing priorities and challenges with the ability to provide high quality services for all our citizens.
Section 165 of the Community Charter directs that a municipality must have a financial plan that is adopted annually, by bylaw, on or before May 15th of the year in which it is to come into force and before the annual property tax bylaw is adopted. The planning period for the financial plan is 5 years, that period being the year in which the plan is to come into force and the following 4 years.
The financial plan deliberation process which precedes the adoption of the financial plan and tax rates bylaws involves a series of public meetings and is the mechanism for determining the revenue requirements and resource allocations that ultimately informs the decision on the municipal tax rate.
Statement of Financial Information (SOFI)
The Statement of Financial Information is a Public Accounts report prepared in compliance with the Financial Information Act, Statutes of British Columbia (Canada), Chapter 140. It contains a statement of assets and liabilities, operational statement, schedule of debts, schedule of guarantee and indemnity agreements, schedule showing remuneration and expenses paid to or on behalf of employees and schedule showing payments for suppliers of goods or services.
Development Cost Charges (DCC)
Development Cost Charges are monies collected from land developers by a municipality to offset some of the infrastructure expenditures incurred in servicing new developments. The charges are intended to facilitate development by providing a method to finance capital projects related to roads, drainage, sewers, water mains and parks. Development Cost Charges are imposed by Bylaw pursuant to the Local Government Act.
In accordance with section 937.01 of the Local Government Act, municipalities must prepare and make available to the public a report which includes the following prior to June 30th of each year:
- the amount of development cost charges received;
- the expenditures from the development cost charge reserve funds;
- the balance in the development cost charge reserve funds at the start and at the end of the applicable year; and
- any waivers and reductions under section 933.1 (2).
The Financial Plan provides detailed funding requirements over the next 5 years, and also articulates financial priorities and issues. It helps staff manage day-to-day operations by providing financial and policy information and by identifying financial and staffing resources available to provide services.
The Plan serves as a communication device that gives all readers a comprehensive look at the services provided by the City and the costs related to those services.