27.3 C
Elmira
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

Auditors give Wellesley finances a clean bill of health

Low levels of debt and a strong equity position have put Wellesley in a good fiscal position, a review of the township’s books reveals.

“I’m pleased to say the audit did go very smoothly again this year. I daresay perhaps the smoothest audit in our time as auditors here,” Mike Ardnt of Graham Mathew Professional Corporations told councillors meeting Tuesday night. “I would say that’s a very strong reflection of the growth and the development of the team of finance professionals that you’ve assembled here.”

Wellesley finance staff prepared financial statements for the auditor, who found the financial situation for 2018 to be  similar to that of 2017, Ardnt noted.

One highlight is the outstanding tax receivable amount of $385,962, the lowest in the past five years, council heard, significantly below $617,469 in 2017.

“This is a good reflection of collecting taxes and staying on top of arrears and so forth,” said Ardnt.

The Township of Wellesley owns 6.6 per cent of shares in Waterloo North Hydro, which was noted as a profitable venture. It increased in value by $231,000 last year and has grown by a total of $4.8 million since Wellesley acquired the investment. The holdings provided $275,000 in cash dividends as well as $135,000 in interest earned in 2018.

“So again, it continues to actually put a fairly substantial amount of cash into the township’s coffers,” said Ardnt.

The long-term debt of Wellesley continued to decrease, dropping by $113,000 last year. The auditor predicted that the debt should be repaid, barring unexpected circumstances, within six to seven years.

The annual surplus in the statements was around $53,000, mostly due to lower depreciation on capital assets as well as cost savings in several different departments.

Arndt also credited the township’s ability to keep staffing levels and costs under control as a reason for its fiscal health, noting the staff complement remained at 32 in 2018, with only two new additions in the past five years.

“You continue to carry out the services that you’re performing and provided to the residents and still doing so in a pretty responsible manner there, as well,” he said.

“Overall, the financial health of the township remains very strong. And the township is very well-positioned for future growth. I think that’s really a good reflection of the consistent financial management that the township has undertaken over the past several years,” said Ardnt.

The report was welcome news to those around the council table.

“It was an excellent report, and we appreciate that,” said Mayor Joe Nowak. “I think the staff needs some credit for this too because they watch their spending very carefully. And I’ll give the council a pat on the back, too.

“At the budget time last year, we went line by line, and we took our time, and we debated. And we came up with I thought, a fair tax increase. So all in all, it was a very good year.”

The full audit report can be found online at www.wellesley.ca.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

LIVING HERE

Local couple take DIY workout equipment to the next level

With gyms closed during the coronavirus lockdown and many of us staying put, at-home workouts became the norm. The resultant run on equipment created an opportunity for Kerri Brown and Ben Gibson.

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Council approves zone change for township development in village

Slightly scaled back, a townhouse development in Wellesley village moved one step closer this week when township council approved the required official...

Going to market with more farm offerings

For years, Wellesley Township’s Josephine McCormick and her family have chosen to forego the usual farmers’ markets, opting for some form of...

Kim Mitchell finds wishes can come true

Conventional wisdom says you keep your wishes to yourself if you want them to come true – when you’re blowing out the...
- Advertisement -