Town finances show surplus for third quarter

The Town of Ponoka’s operations budget is showing a surplus of $913,000 for the third quarter.

The Town of Ponoka’s operations budget is showing a surplus of $913,000 for the third quarter.

Town council approved the town’s third quarter operating and capital financial statements, Tuesday Nov. 10 during their regular meeting after hearing that finances are in order.

Budgeted for operations is $16.3 million with $11.9 million spent, or 73 per cent for the end of September. Capital project expenditures are sitting at $2.6 million of the $12.3 million budgeted, however, invoicing for many of the capital projects will not come to the town until the fourth quarter.

Coun. Teri Underhill asked about carry-forward projects. These are usually projects where the money for the project has been set aside until it can be used. “That money could be used somewhere else,” she remarked.

There are some areas where the town has money in reserves from carry-forward projects, but depending on the project, some of those funds are federal or provincial grants that have a specific use, said Sandra Lund, director of corporate services.

“Some of the grant money has specific uses,” said Lund.

Mayor Rick Bonnett added that depending on the project, there may be some projects approved through a grant where the town also had to have matching funds. Lund added that the Municipal Sustainable Initiative and federal Gas Tax funding does not require matching funds.

Other areas in the operating statement show some increase in investment funds at $114,000 compared to the $75,000 budgeted for. Tax penalties are higher this year with $96,000 compared to the $85,000 budgeted.

Electricity transmission costs are also lower than budgeted sitting at 51 per cent, or $1.5 million in costs compared to the $2.9 million forecast.

Gas and electricity for recreation is sitting at 68 per cent, somewhat lower than forecast for this time of year. Administration costs for contract services is sitting at 82 per cent, or $1.4 million of the $1.7 million forecast.