Town of Ponoka

Town of Ponoka

Town finances in good order

The Town of Ponoka’s third-quarter finances show a drop in electrical revenue

The Town of Ponoka’s third-quarter finances show a drop in electrical revenue

Town council heard Oct. 25 during a regular meeting that the $10.3 million capital budget for Ponoka is sitting at $5.4 million in expenditures. That is partly due to some projects only now being organized, something that is typical for this time of year, explained Sandra Lund, director of corporate services.

Property services is sitting at 80 per cent at $4.5 million of the $5.6 million budgeted. Protective services is sitting at 64 per cent at $455,800 of the budgeted $710,000.

A big project to be completed this year is the changeover to the Diamond software that will allow the town to bring online finances for residents.

“We’re hoping to have that done by the end of the year,” explained Lund.

She expects that project to take a few weeks for staff to learn.

For the town’s operations, revenues sit at a deficit of $744,500 from the end of September. Revenues are sitting at $11.7 million while expenditures are at $11.9 million. “Revenues are a little lower than we’ve seen,” said Lund.

This is partly due to the electrical department not seeing as much revenue. When asked by Mayor Rick Bonnett the reason, she suggests there are less users in the industrial area using electricity.

Lund did add that the town will start to see some savings in electricity as the department is switching out its street lights to LEDs, which will bring a reduction in costs.

Government transfers are sitting about half with $565,000 received of the $1.1 million budgeted for. Lund says the money is mostly from provincial grants such as the Municipal Sustainability Initiative, which have yet to be transferred.

Protective services expenses are sitting at $1.6 million of the budgeted $2.1 million and property services are sitting at $1.6 million spent of the $1.7 budgeted.

Recreation sits at $1.4 million spent of the budgeted $1.9 million.

For revenue, the town is sitting at about 76 per cent taxes collected with $4.6 million of the budgeted $6.1 million collected. Goods and services sit at $5.6 million of the $8.2 million, about 68 per cent. Tax penalties are a little higher than normal sitting at $108,000 collected of the budgeted $106,000.

Board appointments

Council approved several appointments to committees.

Of those appointments one brought about some discussion; there was some question as to whether there would be some conflict of interest to have Abby Yaworski, who is married to Coun. Marc Yaworski, to be a member of the Heritage and Downtown Revitalization Committee.

CAO Albert Flootman offered that Marc and Abby would have to ensure no pecuniary interest with her on the committee while he is a councillor but he also does not have any concerns. “For the most part I don’t think there would be an issue.”

Council approved the appointment with Coun. Carla Prediger voting against it. Others reappointed to the heritage committee are Devin Kumar, Sherry Gummow, Kenda Butterfield, all for a three year term ending Oct. 31, 2019; Kori Hart and Danny Lineham (now as a member of the Economic Development Board) both ending Oct. 31, 2017.

For the Ponoka Jubilee Library Board Mikki Scabar was appointed for a term from Dec. 1 to Nov. 30, 2019 and Tamara Armitage-Cline reappointed from Nov. 1 to Oct. 31, 2018.

*****Clarification: Last week’s town finance story on page 8 stated the town will start to use the Diamond municipal software to bring online finances to residents. To clarify, the town already uses the municipal software, but staff will be working to bring a Virtual City Hall to residents. This would allow residents to conduct financial transactions online.*****