Better late than never is the likely mantra the Village of Pemberton (VOP) council is chanting after the 2014 financial audit was approved about a year late. And about a week later, council approved the 2015 audit, as well.
Nikki Gilmore, Chief Administrative Officer for the VOP, said at a special council meeting May 12 to approve the 2015 audit that the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development wasn't pleased with the lateness of the 2014 audit, which was approved on May 3.
"We gave them updates," said Gilmore. "It never happened to Pemberton before."
VOP Mayor Mike Richman said a new financial software system for VOP, plus the hire of Gilmore in 2014 delayed the financial report for that year.
"With a staff change, it's not uncommon," said Gilmore. "(The ministry) did give us a little of a pass on that — that's why we got the 2015 in and on time. So now we'll all be caught up. It gives me a sigh of relief."
A new reservoir increased the VOP advances on long-term debt by $1.2 million. Richman said the reservoir was necessary to provide double the capacity as Pemberton grows.
Total revenues for VOP increased by about $38,000 for 2015, the majority of which was from provincial government transfers, said Darcy Haw of the accounting firm MNP.
Total expenses totalled just over $4.4 million compared to almost $4.7 million for 2014.
"There's really just minor differences experienced year over year," said Haw, who added there were no difficulties encountered for 2015.
The audit reveals a cash-flow increase from about $920,000 from 2014, to $1.6 million in 2015, largely due to the amortization of tangible capital assets. The VOP assets increased to almost $4 million for 2015, up from $2.6 in 2014.
Haw said the level of leverage versus debt for VOP is within the range of the majority of the municipalities that his firm audits.
"It feels good," said Richman. "We're sort of in the middle of the road in terms of leverage and flexibility and able to deal with whatever comes down the pipe."
The upcoming soda-ash treatment for the water system is projected to cost about $560,000, which VOP has committed $425,000 toward with no tax increase. The $45,000 annual cost to operate the new system will be included in water-service budgets.
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