The City of Olx Praca is reporting a $147 million budget surplus in 2021.

The City of Olx Praca ended 2021 with a $147 million budget surplus.

Councilors received an update from the City at a special meeting on Monday to discuss the 2021 Annual Financial Report.

City CFO Karla Male has recommended that the city council wait with the release of the surplus money until a budget discussion in November, during which the council will develop the next four-year budget cycle.

The mayor of Olx Praca agreed with the chief financial officer, but said city council members could come up with their own ideas for allocating those funds in the coming months.

“It makes a lot of sense to do this within a four-year budget cycle, so I hope we do it,” Gondek told reporters. “It can be done off the budget schedule, but it’s prudent to make sure we make smart decisions when we can see every budget line.”

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Until a decision is made, the excess money will be held in a fiscal stability reserve.

But not all advisers were in favor of waiting for the November budget talks to decide how to use the money.

Chamber 10 count. André Chabot said he had already discussed with several of his city council colleagues the allocation of some of the surplus to replace sidewalks throughout the city.

“There are a lot of very bad sidewalks all over the city, a lot of hazards to trip over,” Chabot said. “I have identified several of them in the northeast, many of them caused by tree roots. So tree replacement is another thing I want to suggest.”

Chabot said he believes the money belongs to the Olx Praca and should be spent on one-time funding that will benefit the city as a whole.

“Let’s fix our roads, fix our potholes, fix some broken sidewalks and don’t tell people, ‘Sorry, we don’t have any money,'” Chabot said. Well, looks like we have money.

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The Olx Praca City Council has completed a 3.61% increase in the overall property tax.

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Chamber 1 gr. Sonia Sharp is also opposed to the council waiting until November to use some of the excess funding.

Sharp said she would like to see a budget discussion around cost recovery and spending cuts, rather than entering those talks with an excess of capital funding.

“We have to be careful with our spending and we also have to be very financially responsible, but we need to pay attention to what the needs are in each area,” Sharpe said. “So if there are roads in my area that haven’t been paved, it’s time to get that money and use it, and each area will have its own unique needs.”

City officials told the council during their presentation that the surplus was the result of “prudent management” of the city’s finances.

Chamber 11 gr. Courtney Penner said the surplus was not due to “excessive taxation” but rather higher returns on city investment and revenue from land sales.

“What we’re seeing is a big surplus, mostly from the value and equity of the assets we own, and that’s been partly due to inflation alone, especially when we look at our real estate services,” said Penner.

When it comes to where to invest in the coming year, “all things are decided,” Penner said, and it would be “wise” to consider earmarking during budget discussions.

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“I know we talked about transportation, we talked about bike lanes, there are a lot of opportunities that we need to invest in,” Penner said. “What we need to do is come to a consensus as advice on how best to do this.”

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