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Town's accumulated surplus up by over $4 million

Municipalities given more time for audited financial statements

OLDS — The Town of Olds’ accumulated surplus as of Dec. 31, 2019 stood at $90,125,039, up $4,234,065 from last year, according to its audited financial statements, presented to council last month.

According to the statements, as of Dec. 31, 2019, the Town of Olds had $25,133,778 of financial assets compared to $27,314,569 of financial assets last year.

“Our financial assets have gone down a bit because the town has invested more money into tangible capital assets; so in infrastructure, roads, buildings, machinery,” Darren Adamson of Avail Chartered Professional Accountants said.

Liabilities totalled $26,420,448, down from $27,378,607 the previous year.

Adamson noted long-term debt was taken out for “a couple of capital projects.”

Revenues were $24,423,555, up about $1.2 million from 2018 when they totalled  $23,194,304.

Adamson cited a couple of reasons for the larger number.

“Taxes were up a little bit, user fees were up a bit due to a significant customer that came online last year and used up a lot more water charges,” he said.

Audited expenses came to $25,417,905, up from $25,036,467 in 2018.

That resulted in a loss of just under $1 million ($994,350) down from a loss of $1,842,163 in 2018.

“On a $24-$25-million operating budget for the year, a $1 million loss is somewhere in the four per cent range, so a little bit of improvement over last year,” Adamson said.

The town received government transfers for capital for things like infrastructure. It also received about $1.5 million in donations for Rotary Athletic Park.

Adamson said when those were factored in, accountants arrived at the $90.1 million accumulated surplus.

“I’ve got to tell you there’s nothing better than a good old financial statement read, in my opinion,” said Town of Olds Mayor Michael Muzychka, who operated an accounting firm in town before becoming mayor.

Council voted unanimously to approve the financial statements as presented.

Chief administrative officer Michael Merritt told council that normally, the town’s audited financial statements are delivered in April each year, but due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the provincial government gave permission for municipalities to have them delivered later this year.

“But we’re still on time, we meet the regulations,” he said.