The operating budget deals with a one-year period, while capital requirements are estimated over a 10-year timeframe to create a capital forecast. The initiatives included in the first year of the forecast are considered in order to determine the capital budget for that year. For example, if the capital forecast covers the years 2012-2021, the capital budget will only deal with 2012.
What is a capital budget?
The capital budget indicates the funds needed for the first year of the 10-year capital forecast period. It is how we pay for major projects such as reconstructing streets; building and improving public facilities such as recreation facilities, community centres, parks and fire halls; dealing with growth pressures such as new streets; and new initiatives. These costs are similar to adding an addition to your home this year.
What is a capital forecast?
Most of The City’s capital expenditures are planned on a long-term basis to make them more manageable. The estimates that are included in the 10-year capital forecast are placeholder values for the funding that is expected to be required in each of the 10 years. Longer-term planning allows The City to tailor projects to the changing needs of the community and to better manage finances. Our capital forecast is similar to your plan to purchase a new vehicle in two years or start home renovations in three years.
What is the approval process for the capital forecast and budget?
Each year in November or December, City Council reviews the funding requirements expected over the next 10-year forecast period. They consider four options for single or multi-year projects that start in the first year of the 10-year period:
- approve as proposed
- change timing
- change scope
- remove entirely
Council does not approve funding for projects that begin in the second or subsequent year of the plan.
What is an operating budget?
The operating budget shows the day-to-day costs of delivering programs and services for the next year. These costs are similar to your everyday household expenses such as mortgage payments, utilities or groceries.
What is the approval process for the annual operating budget?
City departments present their operating budgets and any new requirements to Council in mid-January. Then Council holds separate meetings at month-end to consider all the requirements and provide direction and approval for operating funding for the rest of the year. All the operating budget meetings are open to the public to attend to learn about the requirements and Council's decisions.
When does The City produce its Annual Financial Report?
The City's fiscal year-end is December 31. The Annual Report is produced in the following months and is scheduled to be released on May 1. We encourage you to review the copies from recent years posted on this page.