Wetaskiwin county council has approved allocation of $779,019 in operating and capital reserve transfers.
The decision came during council’s Feb. 7 meeting.
“At the year end, once we’ve done all our adjusting journal entries for operating, we come up with a surplus before capital transactions are done,” said Grace French, director of finance.
The general ledger shows a surplus of just over $800,000 for the county.
French says the surplus is primarily due to uncompleted budgetary projects and the need to carry the pre-approved funding forward into 2017. Another reason for the reserve transfer is the mild weather of 2016, resulting in a surplus to the operations costs.
Each of the wastewater systems in Gwynne, Alder Flats, Winfield, Mulhurst Bay and Falun are showing a surplus.
The only water systems with a surplus was Gwynne with $4,369 and Winfield with $19,992.
The county’s gravelling program is budgeted by division, and French noted the county transfers any reserves for each deficit or surplus from the divisions.
“So the total we’re requesting to transfer out of reserves is $121,657,” said French.
Each of the five divisions is running a deficit and divisions five and six do not have enough reserves to cover their deficit, each with $0 each in their current reserve balance. “So there’s a total of $84,975 that needs to come out of the construction program or else out of contingency gravel,” said French.
CAO Frank Coutney recommended the funds come out of contingency gravel. “That’s why we built that contingency gravel.”
The construction program is also budgeted by division, and with no deficits French says the county is looking to transfer $299,673 into reserves.
“Last year when we did the budget we also decreased what we would transfer to the public works general for Clearwater (Revenue) by $100,000. So we’re recommending to reinstate that $100,000 so that we would be putting a total of $200,000 in,” said French.
A 2016 surplus of $8,253 in the garbage collection program is also earmarked for reserves. “So that can go too if we have to expand our collections internally, like if some of our drivers retire,” said French.
Waterworks and sewage rates adjustment
During that same meeting council also approved a four per cent increase to water rates. Currently all such systems are not self sustaining. Councilors approved a zero per cent increase in the sewer rates; all such systems seem to be self sustaining.
“The 2016 (budget), the actual surplus is a deficit,” said French.
In the Gwynne waterworks system there was a surplus of $4,368 after budgeted reserve transfers and a 2016 budget deficit of $18,228. The Winfield system had a $19,992 surplus after budgeted reserve transfers and a 2016 budget deficit of $5,4778. The Mulhurst Bay waterworks system had a $18,346 deficit after budgeted reserve transfers and a 2016 budget deficit of $33,928.