Gaming funds are saving band operations budget

Gaming funds from the Brantford Casino and Ontario First Nations Limited Partnership are saving band departments from operating in a deficit.

A number of departments were operating in a deficit, including Health Services, Social Services, Community Services (such as fire) and Public Works.

The band’s budget for the whole year was $124 million and it had projected the operations budget to be in a $3.6 million dollar deficit by the third quarter.

However, they had budgeted a surplus of $8 million in OFNLP and Brantford Casino income (gaming funds), resulting in an overall operations expected surplus of $4.3 million.

By the third quarter, Six Nations operations was just squeaking by with a surplus of $177,109 but with the benefit of gaming funds, the surplus is over $10 million.

Gaming contributions have come to $12.7 million, which the finance department said is trending higher.

“The OFNLP floated us more funds than they originally communicated that they would,” said Court at elected council’s finance meeting on Monday.

Only $2.4 million of that has been spent, resulting in an operations surplus of $10.4 million.

There are four departments operating in a deficit.

Health Services is in a $397,000 deficit; Social Services is in a $218,000 deficit; Public Works is in a $453,000 deficit; and Community Services is in a $2.9 million deficit.

Court said there is no concern that those departments would remain in a deficit position, however, because she said the funds that have been committed for those departments hasn’t come in yet.

The majority of departments are operating in a surplus.

By the end of the year (fourth quarter), the finance department estimated the band would be in a deficit of $3.6 million without gaming revenue. But thanks to an expected surplus of $8 million in gaming revenue, the year is budgeted to end with a $4.3 million operating surplus.

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