Town in decent financial position shows statement

A completed audit of the Town of Ponoka’s finances reveals the town is in decent shape.

A completed audit of the Town of Ponoka’s finances reveals the town is in decent shape.

Accountant Gord Parker, of Rowland, Parker and Associates, presented council with information on the town’s finances Tuesday, April 28 during the regular meeting.

Parker said the consolidated financial statement showed revenue was $17.3 million, up from the budgeted $15.7 million partly due to user fees and sale of goods being higher than expected.

Expenses were up just over $500,000 at $16.7 million. Parker said the consolidated expenses were over budget, partly because the amortization of capital assets budgeting was off due to timings. “That’s why the budget’s off.”

Wages were within $18,000 of the budget at $4.726 million. Parker said considering the size of the budget, $18,000 is relatively close. For operations, cash flow is down to $2.8 million compared to $4.7 in 2013, but Parker said some of that is due to grants not coming in.

He estimates that it will be higher next year when grants are totaled.

Ponoka’s debt remains relatively low at $3.5 million with a total debt limit of $26 million, but Parker suggested that reaching that limit is not recommended. “One quarter of your revenue can go to debt servicing,” said Parker.

“If you were anywhere remotely near this, Municipal Affairs is going to be visiting you,” he added. “And it constrains you from doing anything else.”

Council salary and benefits for 2014:

• Mayor Rick Bonnett: $38,715 and $1,112 in benefits and allowances

• Coun. Loanna Gulka: $24,049 and $620

• Coun. Tim Falkiner: $20,058 and $489

• Coun. Sandra Lyon: $22,079 and $555

• Coun. Carla Prediger: $22,152 and $552

• Coun. Teri Underhill: $22,996 and $586

• Coun. Marc Yaworski: $20,989 and $525

For the CAO position council hired CAO Rachel Kunz in September, in the interim, Betty Quinlan, director of corporate services was acting CAO starting in January after former CAO Brad Watson was dismissed.

There are expenses for all three individuals. Watson’s salary is due to work done in 2014, vacation and any payments such as severance.

• Rachel Kunz: $30,117 and $6,058 for benefits and allowances

• Betty Quinlan: $84,734 and $12,365

• Brad Watson: $129,071 and $1,642