The City of Winkler saw a number of windfalls in the 2018 budget, propelled by revenue from the local pool and return on investments.
A hot summer and excitement over recent upgrades contributed to a $50,000 surplus in the Winkler Aquatic Centre revenue budget line. The pool revenue was estimated at $222,000 and ended the year with $271,408.
Mayor Martin Harder says it's gratifying to see the community response after the investments made into recreation. Even considering the loss of income the previous summer due to construction closing the pool early, Harder says they still earned back double the shortfall.
"When you invest in public facilities and you find out people appreciate it and use it, mission accomplished."
The Winkler Campground similarly saw a surplus from the budgeted revenue of $65,750 to the actual $93,513. Meanwhile, the community's annual Harvest Festival also saw revenue increase from the estimated $87,000 to $96,306.
The City's return on investments also saw a windfall, totaling $260,000 above expectations. Harder explains the city invested savings into a higher interest rate account as part of a constant effort to be the best stewards of the tax payer's dollars.
However, Harder notes the arena saw a $20,000 shortfall this year, approximately one month of lost revenue after the ice plant failed in November. The arena revenue was originally pegged at $173,700 but came in at $154,933.
Recreation expenses were slightly below budgeted amounts with the swimming pool costing $350,921 to operate, $444,477 for the arena and a total of $470,998 to operate the city's parks, baseball diamonds, and campground.
The P.W Enns Concert Hall saw revenue dip to $154,838 compared to the budgeted $195,000, though expenses were down to $217,939 from the expected $267,992.