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Priorities and Finance Committee Sept. 20, 2016

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The Sept. 20, 2016, Priorities and Finance Committee meeting included:

Water Resources Zero-Based Review and Administration Response

The Priorities and Finance Committee recommends that Council approve Administration’s response to the Water Resources ZBR conducted by Scottish Water International and acceptance of all 17 recommendations. Once implemented, the recommendations will result in annual capital cost avoidance of $17.0 - $20.5 million or about 5 - 6% of the Water Resources Annual capital budget. The benefits will be phased in over several years and are expected to be fully realized by 2022. These annual capital savings would also result in a reduction of $52 million in outstanding debt by 2026.

2016 Mid-Year Accountability Report

The Priorities and Finance Committee recommends that Council receive for information the 2016 Mid-Year Accountability Report. The report includes information on Administration’s achievement of 2015-2018 Action Plan commitments with 26 of 44 strategic actions achieving significant milestones during the first 6 months of 2016. It also shows that with the change in the economy due to declining oil prices, a number of community indicators have been trending down. With the current economic conditions showing no sign of recovery, it was identified that Departments may be more challenged to meet certain action plan performance targets by year end.

Council approved a tax rate increase of 1.5% for 2017 with a one-time rebate of 1.5% funded from the Fiscal Stability Reserve, for a net increase of 0% for 2017 (C2016-0544). The approved tax rate is achieved through corporate sources and reductions in Department operating budgets equivalent to 1.0% of the tax rate increase (approximately $15.0 million) through savings and efficiencies, as well as reductions with service impacts. Financially, The City has a year-to-date favourable operating variance of $19.9 million. Year-to-date capital spend was $509 million to June 30, 2016. This compares to $391 million spent in the same period in 2015.

The Committee also asked questions about the impact of the new Carbon Tax Levy. Admin agreed to provide a list of questions that The City needs answers to by mid-October (sooner if possible) to help determine how this new levy will impact the municipality.

2016 Capital Budget Recast and Other Capital Revisions

The Priorities and Finance Committee recommends that Council approve the Capital Budget Recast and request Council’s approval for revisions to the previously approved 2015-2018 capital budget. The focus is to invest existing money on strategic priorities in the community that create value. Approval of the report includes authorizing Administration to make expenditures related to cash flow timing changes outlined in the investigation section of this report and update Council Policy CFO006 to reflect new levels of approval for capital budget cash flow timing changes as identified (Attachment 5) and directing Administration to proceed with: recasting the 2017 capital budget by early 2017; repositioning the capital budget to identify funding for potential new and currently unfunded projects and return to Council at the November 2016 Mid-Cycle Adjustment deliberations; and recommending funding allocations for investment projects no later than when The City finalizes its 2017 property tax rate.

Assessment and Tax Circumstances Report

The Priorities and Finance Committee recommends Council approval to cancel the applicable 2013, 2014 and 2015 taxes for property and business accounts that meet Administration’s criteria for prior year tax cancellation. This report is presented to Council twice annually to effect the timely cancellation or refund of taxes on accounts which meet the criteria and that have been brought to the attention of Administration since the last report. This is the second report this year presented to the Priorities and Finance Committee.

Administration is also recommending the cancellation of 2014, 2015, and 2016 municipal property taxes for non-profit organizations that applied and qualified under the Non-Profit Tax Mitigation Policy (NPTM), passed by Council in December 2014. The report also includes the revised 2016 municipal tax cancellation for the bingo facilities approved by Council through a resolution at the June 20, 2016, Regular Meeting of Council.

2016 Alberta Community Resilience Program Proposed Project Submission

The Priorities and Finance Committee recommends that Council approve the resiliency project list for the September 30, 2016, submission for the Alberta Community Resilience Program (Attachment 1), and receive this report as an item of Urgent Business for the Sept. 26, 2016, Meeting of Council to provide Administration time to complete the submission by the program deadline of Sept. 30, 2016.

Civic Innovation YYC - Response To Cut Red Tape Recommendations

The Priorities and Finance Committee recommends that Council receive the Civic Innovation YYC report which provides an information update on Administration’s plans and response to the recommendations from Council’s Cut Red Tape Program tabled in February 2016, as well as, an update on progress and plans for Civic Innovation YYC program in 2016, for information. Administration will then return to Priorities and Finance Committee in Q1 2017 with an update on Civic Innovation YYC and any requests for funding.

AnalyticsCalgary – Advanced Analytics

The Priorities and Finance Committee recommends that Council receive the Analytics Calgary report for information. This is a corporate wide program comprised of six initiatives - including Advanced Analytics, Business Intelligence, Civic Innovation YYC, Internal Consulting, Open Data, and Research - which aim to further integrate data driven decision making across The Corporation through a collaborative process. Through this program The City of Calgary is laying the foundation for advancing The City’s ability to effectively use big data analytics and data management to gain further insight into future needs based on existing City data collected over many years.

Assessment Review Board Bylaw Amendments

The Priorities and Finance Committee recommends that Council give three readings to approve the proposed bylaw to amend the Calgary Assessment Review Boards Bylaw (25M2010); establish a new appointments cycle and transitional provisions to extend the appointments of current ARB members to March 2017, and; establish a 12-year term limit for members of the Calgary Assessment Review Boards.

Licence and Community Standards Appeal Board Bylaw Amendments

The Priorities and Finance Committee recommends that Council give three readings to amend the proposed Licence and Community Standards Appeal Board bylaw (LCSAB) and establish a 10-year term limit for members of the Calgary LCSAB. A 10-year cumulative term limit is proposed for the service of public members on the LCSAB in the interests of the sustainability and stability of the Board’s membership and operations.

 


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