Jamie Pollock, an accountant from Craig Keen Despatie Markell LLP, presented the 2011 auditor’s report to council during the May 15th South Dundas council meeting.
“There is a $642,503 surplus moved into the working capital reserve,” began Pollock, “so you had a good year.”
Following this, Pollock went through the details, breaking down the figure into departmental numbers and statistics.
The sum of it all, according to Pollock, came down to “you had a very good year. Administration did well. You should congratulate your administration staff.”
He informed council that the net financial assets were just under $5.1 million, “so it went up by $1.1 million,” he said. “So, you’re still in a very strong financial position that way.”
The non-financial assets such as vehicles, buildings and so forth were declared to be in the $63 million range.
He said the expenses amounted to $9.9 million and then proceeded to congratulate council on the new sewer plant in Iroquois, which is 100% government funded.
He cautioned council about possible future financial issues, bringing to attention the issue of aging landfill sites. Pollock pointed out that one is at capacity and the other has approximately four to five years left before it’s full.
He also pointed out that “there’s nothing set up to finance” the closing of the two landfill sites.
“It’s a large liability coming and you have nothing set aside to address this.”
“You should set up a reserve to help finance that cost. If you don’t do anything,” he predicted, it could lead to a “general spike in taxation rates to cover that cost.”
He ended the topic, strongly suggesting that council “get ready to avoid a massive tax spike.”
Moving toward the conclusion of his report, Pollock told council “you have a good collection of your taxation dollars from year to year.”
He informed that the working capital is at a good ratio and that the working reserves, in terms of the percentage used for expenditures, is also at a healthy level.
“You’ve always been strong with your reserves,” he said.
Following Pollock’s presentation of the auditor’s report, deputy-mayor Jim Locke said, “it sounds like a good report card to me,” pointing out that “all the recommendations for 2011 were adhered to.”
“It’s a great position we’re in,” agreed mayor Steven Byvelds saying he’d like to “especially thank staff for monitoring our budget and making sure things are done on time and on budget.”
“We do acknowledge the landfill issue and maybe that’s something we’re going to have to look at.”
“Council is aware of the water/sewer deficits,” he continued, suggesting they may have to “look at user fees.”
Council accepted the draft financial statement at the May 15th meeting.
Going forward the township treasurer will provide council with a follow-up draft at the next council meeting.
Once that has been approved, the report will become available to the public.