The District of Sechelt is in a good position financially, chief financial officer Victor Mema told council when he presented the 2013 consolidated financial statements at the May 7 regular council meeting.
“The financial results are pretty good. The annual surplus for 2013 is $6.7 million and that number is critical because what it indicates to us is that we were able to accumulate residual resources that would be used in future to provide services in infrastructure,” Mema said.
Most areas were on or under budget in 2013; however, contract services were higher than anticipated in every area.
“There are a variety of circumstances for each area,” Mema said. “These can be summarized by professional fees related to audit fees; professional services related to the vacancies in the District of Sechelt for contract services and recruitment; and honorariums for the bidding for the wastewater treatment project.”
The performance audit on Sechelt being compiled by the Auditor General for Local Government (AGLG) should be ready in the next few months.
Originally the report was supposed to be ready in March.
“That was the understanding at the time. They have come back and said they are late and now they are talking end of August,” Mema told council during a recent committee of the whole meeting.
On May 29 of last year, AGLG Basia Ruta announced that the District of Sechelt would be one of 18 municipalities to undergo a performance audit.
There were many different types of performance audits announced at the time, with Sechelt slated for a “learnings from local government capital procurement projects and asset management programs” audit.
Coun. Chris Moore reported that the airport committee is not in favour of drag racing on the airstrip in Wilson Creek, but that they recommend allowing the races to run this year.
“The drag racing group is kind of on notice that if and when the airport gets its funding, in all probability their days are numbered up at that airport,” Moore said. “So it’s a slow weaning process, but really it hasn’t changed, the schedule, from last year.”
Garbage fees for 2014 were set on May 7. Residents in Sechelt will pay $200 per unit for garbage services this year.
Sewer fees were set at $379 per single detached family residence for 2014. The fee was set lower, at $222, for senior citizens’ apartment units and much higher, at $3,845, for Legions.
Council set up the infrastructure fund so that in the future, if they decide to tax residents for infrastructure renewal, they have a specific fund to hold the money until renewal projects can be done.
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