City of Regina Increases Reserves Thanks to Pandemic Supports


“This $ 26 million increase was largely due to COVID-19 external funding that will be used in 2021… to offset the continued financial impacts of COVID-19. ”

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The city of Regina’s reserve balance increased 16% in 2020 mainly due to financial support from senior levels of government to overcome the pandemic.

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“This $ 26 million increase was largely due to COVID-19 external funding that will be used in 2021 … to offset the continued financial impacts of COVID-19,” said Barry Lacey, executive director of financial strategy and sustainability for the city.

Total reserves at the end of 2020 stood at $ 199.4 million compared to $ 172.7 million at the start of 2020.

According to the 2020 reserve report reviewed by the executive committee on Wednesday, each reserve has a minimum limit and a maximum limit. By the end of 2020, five of the city’s 21 reserves were out of reach, while 16 were within range.

Of the five outside their range, three were over the maximum limit of $ 13.5 million.

Two reserves were below their minimum limit. The land development reserve is $ 18.4 million below its minimum limit of $ 2 million, but, according to the report, there is $ 29 million available in the land use planning project accounts. land. So even though the reserve has a negative balance, the administration says that no action is required at this time.

The planning and sustainability reserve is $ 4 million below its minimum limit of $ 1.7 million.

“As this is a stand-alone reserve, management is reviewing the structure of the fees associated with the reserve and will continue to monitor the reserve balance,” the report said.

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Noting a constant surplus in the winter road maintenance reserve over the years, the council. Andrew Stevens (Ward 3) asked the administration if the city could redirect some of this money to the Snow Angel program (which offers sidewalk snow removal services to residents unable to do it themselves) or to improve the snow removal in areas of the city such as croissants.

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“I would say that in any given year there seems to be an unmet demand for winter snow services, whether it is a service that we don’t offer like sidewalks, intersections or roads that people say , should have higher standards, ”Stevens said in Wednesday’s discussion. .

Com. Lori Bresciani also reflected on the creation of a reserve fund specifically for the maintenance of the park.

The city administration used the questions to remind council that reserve funds are generally used for one-off events where something unexpected happens. City Manager Chris Holden spoke of a severe snowstorm that hit Saskatoon on the eve of last year’s municipal election. The clearance cost the city approximately $ 9 million.

Holden also noted the advantage of the general reserve fund – over creating a specific reserve fund for park maintenance – as it gives the city more flexibility to prioritize those dollars where they are. most needed at any given time.

Looking ahead, Lacey said that “reserves are expected to decrease from $ 16 million to $ 183 million by the end of 2021, due to initiatives approved by the board in Budget 2021.”

After a short discussion, the executive committee approved the report, which will be submitted to city council next week for final discussion and approval.

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