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2004 Agendas & Minutes

November 15, 2004 Minutes

City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

Finance Select Committee




Monday, November 15th, 2004


Anderson Room
Richmond City Hall


Councillor Kiichi Kumagai, Chair
Councillor Harold Steves, Vice-Chair
Councillor Linda Barnes

Councillor Derek Dang

Councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt
Councillor Sue Halsey-Brandt

Councillor Rob Howard
Councillor Bill McNulty

Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 6:23 p.m.






(Report:  Nov. 2/04, File No.:  03-0970-01) (REDMS No. 1350407)



The Chair referred to a statement in the staff report, which indicated that “….significant efficiencies have been achieved by managing the Olympic Oval Project and Rav Project with existing staffing resources.”  In response to a question from the Chair about whether the City had had an excess of staff in the past, Chief Administrative Officer George Duncan confirmed that the City had less staff than cities of a comparable size.  He advised that because of the team strategy adopted by the City in 1997, teams had been assigned to help with the additional workloads so that the work did not fall to one person.  In addition, he indicated that many of the teams would work on  their specific projects on a part-time basis to allow them to manage their regular workload.



The Director of Finance, Andrew Nazareth, accompanied by the Manager, Budgets & Accounting, Jerry Chong, provided a brief update on the operating budget process.



Discussion then ensued among Committee members and staff on:




the GST rebate and whether this revenue was being used for replacement of the City’s infrastructure




the status of the Council Provision Account




appropriated and unappropriated surpluses




the rationale for the significant increase in gas, hydro, and E-Comm expenditures,




the rationale for increasing fees at the arenas and aquatic centres




whether the financial projections relating to the amount of gaming revenue to be received by the City were realistic, and why there was no reference within the operating budget to addiction and addiction programs as decisions had been made previously to dedicate approximately $1,500,000 to City addiction programs




the rationale for the significant increase in the expenditures for the Gateway Theatre and the Policy Planning Department of the Urban Development Division




the increase in expenditures for E-Comm by 18.8%




the amount of funds available in the City’s statutory reserve accounts, and the possible use of these accounts for specific projects




the date by which the City’s debts would be paid off




the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) standards and how the City’s accounting policy was modified to reflect these standards




the components which comprised the “Fiscal” line in the budget




the impact to the City, if any, if the projected gaming revenue figures decreased as a result of the new casino opening in New Westminster.




During the discussion, staff were requested to provide comments and information to Council on (i) the GST rebate and how this revenue was being used for infrastructure; (ii) the balance of the Council Provision Account; (iii) the USD Exchange program and whether the figure of 1.30% was appropriate; (iv) the amount of funding received by RADAT from the Provincial Government and the BC Lottery Corporation to deal with addictions; and (v) where staff felt that the additional casino revenue (approximately $4.7 Million) should be utilized (direction was given that the Council Provision Account not be considered).



During the discussion, with reference to E-Comm, the Chair advised that he would be providing an update within the next while on the financial status of that organization.



Reference was made to the amount of casino revenue being received by the City, and discussion took place on the feasibility of increasing the amount of the grants budget to provide funding to social agencies which offer addiction programs to the community; how the additional funding could be provided without changing the current budget figures; whether the increased amount would be sufficient, and whether the proposal was premature.



As a result of the discussion, the following resolution was introduced:



It was moved and seconded



That the Grants budget be increased to $500,000 by shifting the appropriate amount from the Capital Building and Infrastructure account.



The question on the motion was not called, as discussion ensued on whether the grants budget was the appropriate account from which to grant funds to those social agencies which deal with addiction issues.  Reference was also made to a previous commitment by Council that a portion of the revenue obtained from gaming would be returned in some way to the community.



The question on the motion was then called, and it was CARRIED.




It was moved and seconded



That the 2005 Operating Budget report be approved as the basis for preparing the 5 Year Financial Plan (2005 – 2009).






OPPOSED:  Cllr. McNulty





(Report:  Nov. 2/04, File No.:  03-0970-01) (REDMS No. 1350749)



The Mayor requested that arrangements be made to hold another Committee meeting as soon as possible to deal with the 2005 Additional Level Requests.








It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (7:13 p.m.).






Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the Finance Select Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Monday, November 15th, 2004.



Councillor Kiichi Kumagai

Fran J. Ashton
Executive Assistant, City Clerk’s Office


11/19/2004 2:01:14 PM