- Municipal Council
Town of Mount Royal, May 17, 2021 – Notwithstanding the extraordinary difficulties caused by the ongoing pandemic, Mount Royal’s budget surplus has reached $6,833,711, as noted in the Town’s 2020 financial report submitted at the Monday, May 17th regular Council meeting. Due to the constraints imposed by the fight against COVID-19, the Town’s revenues and expenses in 2020 did not always match the original forecasts. However, the final results were close to initial estimates, and the Town succeeded in staying on course. Financial assistance on the order of $3.6 million from the Quebec government helped make up for the shortfall in revenue and the unplanned, pandemic-related costs.
The positive results achieved in 2020 are attributable to operating revenue of $97.6 million, 99% of the total forecast for fiscal 2020. In addition to the government assistance received, a significant proportion of the extra revenue generated in 2020 came from increased collection of real estate transfer fees in a dynamic market where single-family dwellings are appreciating at an ever-increasing pace.
For their part, operating expenses totalled only $97 million or 94% of the figure in the Town’s budget forecasts. These expenses included $4.6 million in principal repayments on the long-term debt. The positive difference was created throughout a year that saw an overall slowdown and the cancellation of many activities: lower overall payroll, decreased reliance on external services, reduction in regular maintenance activities and so on.
The Town’s capital expenditures in 2020 focused on advancing many initiatives aimed at further enhancing the quality of life that Mount Royal offers residents. These included sustained investment in the municipality’s parks and other green spaces, including the gradual greening of the Bates/Ekers sector, as well as street and sidewalk repairs, the rehabilitation of water and sewer lines and the conversion of many street lights to LED technology. As in 2019, capital expenditures in 2020 included the installation of two new BIXI stations and the acquisition of electric vehicle charging stations.
As at December 31, 2020, the Town’s long-term debt totalled $33.7 million. Investments to be funded at year-end amounted to $8.6 million. Adding $7.2 million in other items brings the total long-term debt to $35.1 million. This amount corresponds to only 0.41% of the standardized property value, even less than at the end of the preceding fiscal year.
The accumulated surplus, financial reserves and reserved funds totalled $37.8 million, compared with $39.2 million in 2019.
“Nothing could be taken for granted in 2020, in Mount Royal or anywhere else,” explains mayor Philippe Roy. “The generous assistance from the Quebec government arrived just in time, of course. But it is also our many years of prudent management and our carefully maintained financial flexibility that have paid off today. The pandemic goes on but, despite the challenges, we are able to look positively toward fiscal 2021, with no element of surprise this time around. Work will be able to continue on projects important for the community, like our sports and community centre.”
Town of Mount Royal’s financial statements can be viewed online and, once the pandemic is declared over and municipal buildings are reopened to the public, in person at Town Hall.