ANALYSIS: The bare bones of Rossland's budget

Andrew Bennett
By Andrew Bennett
December 6th, 2012

We’ve prepared a short summary of the 2012 budget the city used this year to aid participants in our DemocracySTORMan exciting interactive poll that is quick to complete. We heartily encourage everyone with an interest in Rossland’s welfare to participate.

These numbers come from the 2012-2016 financial plan approved by council in the spring and may not reflect actual expenditures in 2012, which won’t be known until early next year. Furthermore, recent changes, such as increased expenditures on the CAO’s and Corporate Officer’s salaries, will not be reflected here.

In fact, a lot of detail is not reflected here. But if digging through a financial plan (available here) is not your cup of tea, you might find our recent series, “ANALYSIS: Do you know what you’re paying for?” takes you deep enough:
    PART ONE: Putting the budget in perspective
    PART TWO: Community organizations and recreation
    PART THREE: Running the city

We’ve condensed that information below, focusing on 2012 budget numbers instead of 2011 actual expenses.


Total taxes collected that stay in Rossland:

Additional government revenue from fees, fines, rentals, and so on:

Internal transfers from reserves to pay for particular projects:

Other revenue comes from debt financing, plus grants and other transfers. This number varies considerably year to year—for example, it was huge in 2012 to account for the downtown project.

Additionally, specific revenues come in to fund sewer and water services from sources such as parcel taxes, sales of services, penalties, grants, reserve funds, and so on.

Water fund revenues:

Sewer fund revenues:


The expenses for water and sewer closely match the revenues for these services and include items such as administration, debt payments on capital expenditures, facilities maintenance, service connections, meters, and so on.

The rest of the city’s money—The General Fund—is spent on a huge diversity of things, including the following items:

Legislative and government services include information systems, insurance premiums, elections, an external audit, wages and benefits for financial and administrative staff, office expenses, and mayor and council expenses. Here we also include City Hall building expenses. In total:

Transportation operations and maintenance includes trucks, equipment, public works administration, third party contracts, road surfacing, sidewalks and steps, storm drainage, street cleaning, dust control, boulevard maintenance, snow plowing, road sanding, snow removal, street lighting, decorative lighting, street signs, and lane marking. We’ve also included the expenses for the workshop, works yard, and garage. In the 2012 budget:

Protective services include building inspection, the “emergency measures” program, bylaw enforcement, and animal control. Currently, bylaw enforcement and animal control are run by using a fraction of the salaried time of two managers, the corporate officer and the public works clerk:

Health and welfare services is mainly “environmental health services” such as garbage collection and spring and fall cleanup of yard wastes. Cemetery maintenance falls here too under “public health.” In total:

Town planning includes surveys, design reviews, advertising and running public meetings, administration, workshops, engineering consultants, and more. Total 2012 budget:

Now we come to community organizations and recreation. It’s important to note that many city expenses in this category are “in kind,” and therefore estimated. Additionally, several organizations housed in city buildings do their own fundraising and volunteer labour towards building upkeep. Note also that some facilities, like the arena and Miners’ Hall, draw in substantial incomes that partially cover their total expenses.

Community assistance goes towards festivals such as Golden City Days and Winter Carnival, and organizations such as the museum, the Sustainability Commission, BearAware, Kootenay Columbia Trail Society, the public library, the chamber of commerce, the Rossland Council for Arts and Culture, Tourism Rossland, the Heritage Commission, Neighbourhoods of Learning, the Senior Citizens’ Hall, the swimming pool, the tennis courts, the curling rink, and the Lions’ Campground. In total:

The parks, recreation, and community facilities budget (excluding City Hall and the public works facilities) includes park maintenance, downtown maintenance, and memorial benches:

It also includes recreation administration and programming, the arena and its concession and, to a much lesser degree, recreational trails and the outdoor skating rink:

It also includes the Rotary Health Centre (food bank and Rossland Radio Co-op), the MacLean School Annex, and the Miners’ Hall. In total:

Finally, there are debts to pay. Debt servicing:

And some money is stored away for special projects and is transferred to reserves:

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