Reducing debt to nearly one-fifth of what it was is a fantastic accomplishment for a small town
Michael Epp, chartered professional accountant with Metrix Group LLP, presented his findings on Elk Point’s financial situation at the April 9 regular council meeting, and chose to “commend the municipality for their efforts this year” in achieving the “considerable improvement” in its net debt position. Through reduced expenditures, collection of unpaid taxes, renegotiation of loans, interest on GICs, sales of some assets, monies from the County of St. Paul and the Alberta government, and taxes on new properties, the debt was reduced from $1,396,156 to $305,314.
The Statement of Financial Position shows the number breakdown and comparisons between 2016 and 2017.
Explained Epp, “2017 assessed values decreased by about $1.5 million, mill rates decreased except for machinery and equipment.”
Deputy Mayor Dwayne Yaremkevich noted caution in reading the report. “It looks like we’ve got a million dollar surplus, but effectively we don’t.”
CAO Ken Gwozdz acknowledged that there’s $500 000 in reserve in GICs for the pumper truck, the jaws of life, and the rescue truck, but the apparent surplus is not cash, rather it represents unfunded reserves. Amortization on equipment also affects the figures, and valuations on assets reflect the market, in turn affecting the figures too.
The entire report is available on the town website, elkpoint.ca.