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Town financial situation sitting well

“That’s an inflationary increase, it’s an indication of good stewardship and controlling costs.” Gord Parker.

Ponoka’s financial statements have received a clean bill of health.

Gord Parker, accountant with Rowland, Parker and Associates told councillors April 23 that the statements are presented fairly. He thanked administration and the finance department for working so closely with Parker while trying to learn new municipal software programs. “Same as last year you guys received a clean opinion.”

Cash and temporary investments are up $2.5 million. There was $8.5 million in 2012 compared to $5.9 million in 2011. This is partially due to selling more land last year as well as some planned savings. “So that’s primarily why cash is up,” said Parker.

Net financial assets have increased as well from $2.3 million in 2011 to $4.2 million in 2012. Ponoka is usually between $2.3 and $2.5 million, explained Parker. The major difference was driven by planned reserve increases. “You’re basically saving for larger future capital projects.”

There was also less capital spending, which gave the town a surplus.

Revenue for the town was $14.4 million in 2012 compared to $13.2 million in 2011 mostly from sales in goods and services; expenses were also up by $500,000 to $13.8 in 2012 compared to $13.3 in 2011. “That’s an inflationary increase, it’s an indication of good stewardship and controlling costs.”

The difference of $685,907 is not as high as it looks, said Parker. “At the end of the day you’ll notice it goes from about $685,000 this year to $44,000 loss, actually in 2011.”

He feels for the town it’s better to have some savings for long-term planning.

“You guys want to make sure you have some surplus so you can reinvest,” suggested Parker.

The largest expenses for the town was electrical at $2.4 million. Administration, water supply, parks and recreation and protective services were all approximately $1.9 million each.

Unrestricted surplus for the town ended with a balance of $2.9 million, up $888,000 from 2011, which is basically what the town needs as working capital, said Parker. The restricted surplus sits at $6.2 million, up $696,000 from 2011.

“You had some planned money set aside because you’re obviously having to save for some bigger projects,” explained Parker.

Salary and benefits

The salaries for councillors and CAO Brad Watson were also released in the financial statement:

• Mayor Larry Henkelman - $31,203 including benefits and allowances.

• Coun. Doug Gill - $18,297.

• Coun. John Jacobs - $16,805.

• Coun. Shayne Steffen - $17,003.

• Coun. Rick Bonnett - $16,324.

• Coun. Loanna Gulka - $ 18,814.

• Coun. Izak van der Westhuizen - $13,458.

• CAO Brad Watson - $155,879.