Friday, 26 Feb 2021

COVID-19 presents potential challenges to Calgary budget

City officials said Calgary’s timeline to cut $74-million from the operating budget by 2021 could be at risk due to the unknown challenges presented by the novel coronavirus.

City manager David Duckworth, said right now, the city is facing uncertainties.

“Things are changing rapidly, in fact, things are changing by the hour on my phone,” Duckworth said to members of the Audit Committee on Thursday.

“Two weeks from now the timelines of this might have to be extended.”

Thursday’s Audit Committee meeting received an update on the Solutions for Achieving Value and Efficiencies (SAVE) initiative.

As part of the initiative, the city will hire an external consultant to find $24 million in savings by November — and another $50 million by 2021.

Duckworth hopes these measures will help the city stay on track.

“Without what we were facing a week or two ago, I was pretty confident in the timing that we would be coming back with respect to the first $24 million,” Duckworth said

“I’m still very confident, but the world around us is changing considerably.”

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