A huge chunk of the Town of Inuvik’s revenue stream was lost to Covid-19 restrictions, but cost-savings from cancelled events helped soften the blow, leaving the town out $80,000 over the pandemic.
Town senior administrative officer Grant Hood explained the situation to Council at their Sept. 28 Committee of the Whole meeting.
“This is a short summary of the effects since the public health order has come in,” he said. “Obviously 2020 has been a very unusual year for the town to say the least. The start of the year was one of optimism with additional revenue being recognized that would allow for lower tax increases, but it has turned into to becoming a year of uncertainty.
“This is only to show the estimated effects of the Public Health order has had on our operations. It is not an in-depth analysis and the true final effects are not yet known and won’t be known until the order is lifted.”
In total, the town has lost $445,000 in revenue. Topping the list of the biggest costs for the Town was the lack of activity at the Midnight Sun Complex, which lost $215,000 — largely coming from a lack of facility rentals over the summer but also from the pool being closed. Also affecting the bottom line was the town waiving penalties and interest for things like overdue tax accounts, which is estimated to cost the town $120,000. Not publishing the guide to Inuvik cost the town $40,000 in revenue and reduced water consumption by businesses took a $17,000 chunk out of the town’s revenues as well.
Costs for the empty MSC would have been higher had the order come in earlier, noted Hood, as the town was able to make some cash out of the Curling and Hockey usage of the arena before the public health order was handed down.
“These are relatively conservative estimates,” said Hood. “The final amount we will have to see.”
On the flip side, the town also saved $365,000 in costs from events not happening over the summer. Not paying salaries of casual staff who would have been hired over the year saved the Town $250,000 and cancelling the Arctic Development Expo saved $40,000 overall. The drop in activity saved the town $40,000 on pool repairs as well and Hood estimated the town also saved $35,000 in utility costs.
Hood added the Town did receive some extra money for operating the Isolation Centre, however those were eaten up by other operational costs.