By Adam Prudhomme
Town of Greater Napanee’s auditors brought good news with them into the council chambers on Tuesday night, reporting a $1.8 million surplus in the final 2016 financial statement.
Prepared by Welch LLP, the independent auditor for the town, the 2016 report was a stark contrast to the previous year, which saw the town finish the year with a deficit of $705,779. That made 2016’s final tally a difference of $2.4 million from 2015.
This past fiscal year, the municipality operated on a budget of about $22 million.
“The annual surplus of the year was $1.8 million and that compares to a budget of almost break-even,” Genie Huffman, engagement partner with Welch LLP told council in her presentation.
“If we wonder why we are so much further ahead in the budget, it’s primarily because of capital revenues exceeding budget and some of those capital revenues can be put down to greater amounts from use of government grants and for gas tax projects.”
Deferring the major road work on Dundas Street from last year to this year also accounted for a large portion of the surplus. A reduction on the OPP’s policing costs to the town was also a major factor on the bottom line.
The 2015 lighting refit commissioned by the town also paid off, generating an Ontario Hydro rebate of $118,000.
Though revenues did decrease overall by $218,000 from 2015, that was offset by conservative budgeting for revenues. In total revenues still came in at $255,000 over the original budget. Capital revenues were $1.2 million over the prior year, owing in large part to gas tax rebates.
Huffman also stated the town now had $10.6 million in reserve as well as $11.6 million in long term investments.
“All levels of government should run like this one does,” added Keith Shantz, a reviewing partner with Welch LLP. “You spend money as if it was yours. Not spending to get votes.”
Council voted unanimously to receive the final report.