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posted February 11, 2008

2008 Budget Notes: Parks, Forestry and Recreation proposed operating budget -- excerpts from the Analyst Briefing Notes

p.3 approved positions -- conflicting numbers

2007 approved positions
4,122.3; 2007 projected actual positions: 3,843.6

2008 base positions: VERSION ONE 4178.9; plus “enhanced”: 7.5; total 4186.4. Increase recommended: 64.1 over 2007, but “Approval of the 2008 Recommended Operating Budget will result in the Program’s staff complement increasing from 4,178.9 to 4,186.4 approved positions.”

p.3 2008 base budget is $234.650 million net or 3.2% over the 2008 target.

1. cost of running new facilities and parkland, $3.345 million

2. COLA [Cost of Living Allowance] of 2.44% and other collective agreement increases totaling $8.844 million

3. Other: $2.189 million

p.4 Offsetting reductions:

1. “service adjustment” $1.377 million

2. “revenue adjustments for the increased use of the Welcome Policy, offset by an adjustment of recreation and permit fees for a 3% inflationary factor, totaling $670,000 net”

3. “various revenue increases, including the percentage of cost recovery for recreation and permit fees totaling $6.824 million”

p.5: new services:

1. $1.41 million for Forestry – tree maintenance and tree hazard removal

2. $150,000 for Dogs-off-leash strategy (p.14 – 3 additional full-time staff, ie. 2 By-law officers and a community development officer)

Page numbers 6 and 7 are missing from the PFR analyst notes, and half of p.5 is blank.

P.8 comes next, and it says “these 2007 budget pressures will be partially offset by $4.6 million in savings from expenditure mitigation strategies” but doesn’t give numbers.

P. 11: Approved Positions VERSION TWO “Approval of the 2008 Recommended Operating Budget will increase the Program’s staffing complement from 4,122.3 to 4,186.4 approved positions.” (i.e. will add 64.1 additional positions.) Compare with page 3 above.

There are merit-step increases of $87,000. (??? On page 17: “The 2009 and 2010 Outlook projected increases for merit and step of $1.5 million each year.”)

There are “efficiency proposals and…service and revenue adjustments” totaling $9.017 million.

P.12: “The low cost recovery levels inhibit program development.”

p. 13. “The Park Ranger Prevention Program will form a component of the maintenance program by supporting by-law enforcement with a focus in education park users on the impact of illegal dumping.” Forestry: Maintenance of newly planted trees: $684,000 in 2008, plus another $166,000 in 2009. Maintenance of natural area trees, $226,000 in 2008 and $226,000 in 2009.

P.15 “Budgeted revenue for 2008 is $6.603 million greater than in 2007. However, the 2007 recommended base Budget does not account for the underachievement of revenue in areas such as marine services, golf and concessions.”

p. 16: increased special events fees to gain $100,000….increased parking fees at waterfront parks and other parks: $300,000….cancellation of 2 services never implemented: “intercultural Youth and Diversity Outreach and Community Engagement” to save $187,000.

p.18: new /enhanced service priorities include $2 million for “Welcome Policy – Class Subsidy Management Module.” P.19 “This item represents the annual amount of this change and does not represent cash revenues or expenditures.” [???]

p.19 – 20: Dogs-off-leash policy in parks “includes $150,000 of new funding in 2008, (and an additional $183,000 to provide full-year funding) to support the enforcement of the bylaw which prohibits off-leash dogs in public parks. This will increase the number of full-time staff available to enforce City by-laws and problem solve in parks across the City from 11 to 14, including one Community Development Officer. However, a major current focus of the existing by-law enforcement officer [singular, sic] is illegal dumping in parkland, so existing resources for Dogs Off-Leach [sic] is [sic] still limited.

P.21 “….a 3% increase in Recreation program and permit fees and Parks permit fees, which together contribute $0.817 million of additional revenue…this is a small contribution in comparison to the $8.825 million of increased salary, wage and benefit costs which must be funded to maintain the current level of service to be provided from the …Operating Budget.” “The 2008 recommended Operating Budget for Parks, Forestry and Recreation includes increased revenue of $3.665 million from increasing the cost recovery rate for recreation programs from the 30.5% [sic] (which includes the 3% inflationary adjustment for 2008) to 34%. …The represents [sic] an average increase over the inflation adjusted rates for 2008 of 21.5% to restore the Base Budget for PF&R." [???]

"For ice, sports field, pool and location permits, rate increases averaging 21.5% over the inflation adjusted 2008 rates are recommended, for an overall increase of $2.049 million.” [Note this is in no way high-lighted.]

P.22: “Council approved new funding of $270,000 for PF&R’s Divisional Safety and Security Plan in the 2007 Operating Budget. Additional funding of $150,000 for the full impact of this phase of the plan is included in the 2008 recommended operating Budget. Last year, Council also adopted a recommendation that funding for future phases of the PF&R Divisional Safety and Security Plan be considered in the context of a City-wide security review. Faculties and Real Estate will be reporting on this review to Budget Committee during consideration of the 2008 Operating Budget.”

P.22 “Cost constraints limit development of new programming, generally. The Full Costing and Pricing Study, undertaken through the City’s Program Review process, has recently established and now provides an improved information base, both for the pricing of programs and for the development new approaches [sic] to Access to Recreation policy development.”

Content last modified on September 28, 2010, at 11:32 PM EST