Blainville boasts a 4-million-dollar surplus – Might be used for COVID-19 emergency fund

Dimitris Ilias

The municipal council adopted yesterday, as part of its regular meeting, the financial statements of the City of Blainville as of December 31, 2019. In addition to the proper management of the public funds of the municipality, these financial statements reveal a stable public debt, a wealth property on the rise and a surplus totaling $ 4 million, which could be paid into an emergency fund due to the impact of COVID-19.
“Thanks to the budgetary discipline of our administration and the constant efforts of our various departments, we have once again succeeded in stabilizing our debt level. To borrow the formula made famous by Dr. Arruda, we flattened the curve of our public debt, “said Mayor Richard Perreault.

Revenues, expenses and surpluses
In 2019, the City generated revenues totaling $ 110.8 million. Revenues include tax revenues, revenues from various sources such as building permits, various rates and government grants and the proceeds from land sales. Expenses reached $ 106.8 million in 2019, which includes administrative services, citizen services, financing costs, return of capital, cash payment for capital assets and allocations.
Taking into account the reimbursement of capital and allocations, the administration generated a budget surplus of $ 4,006,500, attributable exclusively to the sale of land. “The decision is not yet final, but there is talk of paying $ 4 million in an emergency fund for expenses related to COVID-19. This fund will allow us to compensate for unforeseen events, such as higher expenses,” explained the mayor.
Stable debt
The mayor reminded that there are two types of debt, first of all, debt attributable to all taxpayers and which relates to projects that benefit all citizens. Taking into account government transfers, it stands at $ 156.2 million, an increase attributable to recent investments including the eco-center and the decrease in grants available for capital projects. Also, some work planned in 2018 was carried out in 2019. In addition, property wealth amounted to $ 8.14 billion as of December 31, 2019. This gives a debt-to-property ratio of 1.92 %. It was 1.96% in 2018.
As for sector debt, which relates to local projects in specific sectors, it stood at $ 53.7 million, down $ 844,000.
“The 2019 financial statements are an excellent indicator of the performance of our municipal administration in recent years. Obviously, this is a financial portrait of the year 2019. It is still early to judge the real impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020 budget, but the emergency fund which we are thinking of, aims to prevent the effects of a potential second wave this fall. The past few months have taught us that you can never be too careful,” said Mayor Richard Perreault.
Note that the municipal council has mandated the firm Deloitte S.EN.CRL to express an opinion on the consolidated financial statements.
Audit of the Quebec Municipal Commission
In addition, with a view to continuous improvement, the Quebec Municipal Commission announced last June 4 that it will carry out a compliance audit on the process for adopting regulations in more than twenty- five municipalities in Quebec whose population is between 10,000 and 100,000 inhabitants and Blainville is among this group. This audit will focus on the process of adopting by-laws and will aim to ensure that the municipalities selected, comply with legislative requirements when the by-laws are adopted and come into force. After the last step, a report will be published and present the conclusions and recommendations.
“In its press release, the Quebec Municipal Commission took care to specify that the work carried out by the Vice-Presidency for verification does not constitute an investigation by the municipality or a guardianship, a provisional administration, mediation or support”, concluded the mayor on this subject.