City hall should make budget this year, said its finance manager Tuesday night.
Maureen Adams told city councillors the fear of wrestling with a $650,000 shortfall has abated thanks to savings found in other city departments.
There was genuine fear around the council table that some serious belt-tightening would be underway as the city closed out the 2012 fiscal year.
"There was a sense of panic when we got the (first) report," said Coun. David Murphy.
That fear was allayed when it was discovered some variable expenses in city departments won't be as much as first thought, which will eliminate deficits in other areas.
At first there was a fear that operating expenses and capital projects might have to be curtailed.
Adams would not get into specifics concerning some big-ticket areas where savings have been found, but added that material will become public in time.
One area where savings was found is in the social services department. More than $1 million earmarked for the provincial government won't have to be spent now and can be kept by city hall.
But again Adams was cautious, saying that won't necessarily mean the money goes directly into city coffers, as other areas of the city budget may require some propping up in order to balance the books.
"We expect to be on budget at the end of the year," she said. "We're not going to see a signifciant surplus and we won't see a significant deficit."
Adams' news was welcomed by council.
"I certainly read this with a sigh of relief," said Coun. Bernadette Clement.