County of Wetaskiwin exceeds Alberta Municipal Affairs Provincial Standards

  • Jan. 18, 2011 3:00 p.m.

Pipestone Flyer

Vol. 15 Issue 3, Leduc-Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer

This brief snapshot of the County of Wetaskiwin Financial Indicators verifies it serves its residents well with a multitude of programs and services that are strategically planned and managed to ensure the highest degree of effectiveness while carefully monitoring costs.

Garry Deering, Reeve of The County of Wetaskiwin explained, “We continue to be committed to the Strategic Management System which allows the organization to identify changing conditions and establish improved practices for making appropriate decisions and responses”.

The process, as outlined by the County, begins with the preparation of Vision, Mission and Values statements. This challenges the team members to carefully consider some fundamental questions about why the organization exists and what its future aspirations should look like. The Vision and Mission statements provide a clear indication as to where the organization is and where it is going. The Values statements contribute to the culture of the organization.

The Strategic Planning Process, an interactive and participative method, continues with the budget development and approval process, communication to stakeholders, implementation of the strategies and ongoing monitoring and controls. These processes have allowed the County to achieve focus and have helped align initiatives, departments and individuals so that they reinforce each other. It has provided the ability to make and fund new decisions, modify projects, and reassess its directions.

And this process has been successful with the County of Wetaskiwin. Through sound strategic planning and budgeting, the County of Wetaskiwin Council led the municipality to a successful year in 2009.

At the January 11th, 2011 Council meeting Council reviewed 2009 financial indicator graphs prepared by Alberta Municipal Affairs using municipal financial and statistical data to assess past performance of municipalities. Each municipality is compared to a group of similar sized municipalities with similar assessment bases. 

  • The County of Wetaskiwin’s results compared to the median of similar municipalities includes the following:
  • The Municipal equalized tax rate for the County of Wetaskiwin was 6.6 versus a median of 7.3 and a maximum of 13.2.
  • The residential equalized tax rate for the County was 4.8 compared to a median of 6.3 and a maximum of 19.3.
  • The non residential equalized tax rate was 16.9 compared to a median of 12.6 and a maximum of 18.5.
  • The equalized assessment per capita was 229 compared to a median of 385 and a maximum of 718. 
  • The County of Wetaskiwin was only using 1% of its total debt limit in 2009 compared to a median of 6 percent and a maximum of 75 percent.
  • The debt per capita was $43 compared to a median of $212.00 per capita from the sample group with the range being from $0 per capita to a maximum of $4,583.00 per capita of debt load.
  • The per capita property tax was $1,517.00 compared to a median of $3,036.00 per capita and a maximum of $8,027.00 per capita.
  • The percentage of property taxes to total operating revenue is 55% compared to a median of 68% and a maximum of 77%. This indicates that the County is relying less on property taxes and using other sources of revenue such as grants and user fees. This is supported by the fact that the percentage of grant revenue to total operating revenue was 35% compared to a median of 21%.
  • The per capita total government operating expenditures was $1,848.00 compared to a median expenditure of $3,141.00 per person and a maximum of $7,338.00 per person.
  • The ratio of current assets to current liabilities increased in 2009 from 2.3 times to 2.5 times. The County is in a healthy financial position because for every dollar of current liabilities the County had in 2009 it had 2.5 dollars of current assets to pay it down.