The excellent financial practices of the City of Williams Lake was confirmed by an independent auditors report for the City’s 2018 financial statements.
“If we go back to 2013, net financial assets were negative five and a half million so there’s about a nine and a half million dollar swing in that line item which is quite important to the City,” Kane Fraser told Council Tuesday evening.
“I think that shows that the officers, Milo [Chief Administrative Officer] and Vitali [Chief Financial Officer] are doing a great job and the elected officials of the current and previous council.”
When looking at the consolidated statement of operations, Kane said there was a 3.8 million surplus in the fiscal year that could be explained by a couple of things.
“There was a distribution from the Williams Lake Community Forest of 1.2 million approximately and there was recognition of $500,000 in deferred revenue, and then some of your capital projects were not carried this fiscal so in the general fund, for example, there was six million dollars of budgeted capital expenditures and about three and a half million of those were completed.”
Mayor Walt Cobb told MyCaribooNow Wednesday morning he was pleased with the report.
“I think with due respect to Council and staff we have come a long way according to the report in the last five years almost now to bring our finances in order, and that was part of my campaign platform,” he said.
“It’s taken us a while to get there but we’re in pretty good shape. We’ve been able to pay down the debt, we have some surpluses or at least the ability to do some work without having to go borrow so it was good and I was pleased with the comments made by the auditor to how it has come from a debt load community to now.”
Cobb said they have brought their debt down by over a million dollars a year for the last three years, have not had to borrow more, and maintained their services without huge tax increases.
“It’s good news and we’re heading in the right direction.”
As for any future financial challenges, Cobb said there will always be challenges
“We’re so far behind as some of the road construction and work that needs to be done, but we’ll plug away at it and we’ll get done what we can without going in the hole. When you hear what’s happening in the province and to our neighbors in the north with mill closures we got to be very, very cognizant of what could happen here and that was why I was so adamant we had to get our finances in order. “
“We’ve been lucky so far and we haven’t had a real downturn but we have to be prepared because if we can’t generate the revenue we’re going to have to cut services and we certainly don’t want to go there.”
Corporate Engagement Officer, Guillermo Angel said the auditor’s report was completed based on the consolidated statement of financial position as at December 31, 2018, and the consolidated statements of operations, cash flows, and changes in net financial assets for the year then ended which were prepared in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards.