A preliminary report by the Moose Jaw Police Service (MJPS) is showing an expenditure surplus of $288,973.47 for 2022.

Police Chief Rick Bourassa says the numbers are tentative as there are still several expenses being paid and revenues coming in.

The police service had budgeted $12,739,939 for expenses in 2022. The actual expenditure balance presented at the January 17 Board of Police Commissioners meeting was $12,450,965.53.

Bourassa notes one area that they saw a big jump in last year was vehicle maintenance, which was listed as $290,102.97, which was $70,102.97 (31.86 per cent) over budget. MJPS had set a budget of $220,000.

"We haven't been able to get the new vehicles. We've been using older vehicles that are requiring more and more repairs and of course, the unanticipated significant rise in fuel prices in 2022 has contributed to that," he explained. "We're anticipating that being somewhat less in 2023 of a pressure, however we did budget accordingly based on what we thought would happen in 2023."

The service also saw a bit of a jump in education and training expenses, which had a budget of $60,000. The expense came in at $95,792.85 or 59.65 per cent over budget.

Bourassa says that was partly due to the fact they hadn't been able to get people into training courses over the previous couple of years.

"Now we're moving people to courses and the internet child exploitation course that we've sent people on is an expensive course. We also have a number of people that are working on graduate degrees right now, and of course the board, through the collective agreement, does have an education incentive program. We cover a lot of the tuition costs on that. There's a bit of a pressure and expense but it really allows the members of the service to continue education and provide that value back to the service."

Police spent $5,954.27 on prisoner meals, which was $1,954.27 (48.86 per cent) over budget. Bourassa explains this was partly due to the rising cost of food, and also an increase in the number of prisoners being held and the duration spent in custody. The police service has recently switched from buying from local restaurants to purchasing frozen meals for safety reasons and also to save money.

The preliminary report provided at the January 17 meeting showed that $188,253 in revenues is still expected to come in.

The 2022 budget numbers are expected to be finalized in February.

The board voted to invest its accumulated surplus funds in the city's moderate-term portfolio managed by RBC Dominion Securities retroactive to January 1, 2022. The interest generated in previous years was $27,797.76 in 2020 and $21,239.17 in 2021 for a total of $49,036.93. The investment at this point is 'just on paper' and can be reallocated so the funds are not invested or the interest will be added to the police accumulated surplus upon the board's approval.