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The Central Elgin Financial Picture
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The Central Elgin Planning Meeting of Council on February 18, 2014 was really all about the money, with the 2014 Budget, 2014 User Fees, 2014 Harbour Budget, 2014 Water Budget, 2014 Wastewater Budget, and 2012 Audit Findings Letter being included in the reports and by-laws passed.

That's right, the 2012 Audit Findings, not the 2013 Audit Findings. This is no mistake. Because year end procedures were revamped and changed it affected the 2012 audit. Both Director of Financial Services Karen DePrest and the Graham Scott Enns auditor said the 2013 audit should be presented to Council before the May 31, 2014 deadline. But we'll get to those audit findings later.

2014 Budget

The 2014 general local municipal levy for the Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin has been set at $11,408,855.00. Mayor Walters said that because of assessment growth and new development, the tax rate in Central Elgin has actually decreased in each of the four years of this Council's term such that, if you did not experience an assessment increase (highly unlikely) you would have seen your property taxes decrease by 2.82% in 2011. 0.74% in 2012, 1.9% in 2013 and .03% in 2014.

2014 Operating and Capital Budget Highlights: By-Law 1696 passed unanimously

Department Operating Capital Total
General Government $1,495,925 $15,000 $1,510,925
Physical Services $3,833,980 $5,366,959 $9,200,939
Fire $1,063,729 $348,000 $1,411,729
Parks and Recreation $1,376,100 $641,000 $2,017,100
Beach Services $389,283 $0.00 $389,283
Environmental Services $1,221,693 $215,000 $1,436,693
Corporate Services $3,118,428 $0.00 $3,118,428
Community Grants $17,000 $0.00 $17,000
Totals $12,516,138 $6,585,959 $19,102,097
Revenues      
Generated Borrowing Taxes Total
$5,218,242 $2,475,000 $11,408,855 $19,102,097

Ask your Councillor if you want a detailed explanation as to what is included in Environmental Services or Corporate Services, or what they are borrowing $2,475,000 to finance. Borrowing means we are in deficit financing, not a balanced budget.

2014 Harbour Budget Highlights: By-Law 1697 passed unanimously

Operating costs are pegged at $158,411 and Capital costs are pegged at $1,800,000 for a total budget of $1,958,411. The Capital costs include $1 million for dredging, $500,000 on breakwater repairs and maintenance, $200,000 for a recreational public boat launch, and $100,000 for a West breakwater Environmental Assessment initiation. Operating costs include $11,000 for the Habour Master contract fees, $12,022 for property maintenance, and $78,704 for legal and consulting fees. Revenue sources include $20,894 berthage and dockage fees, $72,000 in miscellaneous harbour revenues (that's a huge sum to be labelled as miscellaneous), $14,431 on earned bank account interest, $1.5 million transfer from Contribution Principal, and $351,085 from Contribution Interest; for a total revenue equal to the total budget.

2014 Water Budget Highlights: By-Law 1698 passed unanimously

General Administration and Office expenses are pegged at $546,037, Operating/mintenance costs at $1,410,290 and capital costs at $2,101,431, for a total of $4,057,758. On the revenue side water rates will generate $2,077,085 and they will borrow $2,193,431, creating a net deficit of $4,174,104. Your water rate currently sits at $2.21 per cubic metre plus a $31.46 bi-monthly service charge. Money borrowed is supposed to eventually be recovered from the rates charged.

2014 Wastewater (Sewer) Budget Highlights: By-Law 1699 passed unanimously

General Administration and Office expenses are pegged at $1,092,402, Operating/maintenance costs at $377,150 and capital costs at $2,511,904, for a total of $3,981,456. On the revenue side sewer charges will generate $1,469,552, other sources $938,904 and they will borrow $1,573,000, creating a net deficit of $4,446,000. Your sewer rate currently sits at $1.73 per cubic metre plus a $34.88 bi-monthly service charge. Money borrowed is supposed to eventually be recovered from the rates charged.

2014 User Fees Highlights: By-Law 1693 passed by majority with only David Marr voting against

Venue/Item 2014 Fee
Main Beach $250/day
Little Beach $250/day
Arena Hall Rentals $35/hour
Arena Floor Rentals $35/hour
Prime time ice rental Adults: $141.14/hour
Youth: $122.04/hour
Day ice rental Adults: $90.00/hour
Youth/Senior: $69.75/hour
Ball Diamond/Outdoor Basketball Court Adult: $35.00/game
Youth: $20.00/game
Lights: $15.00/game
Tournament: $200/day
Soccer Fields Adult: $35.00/game
Youth: $20.00/game
Tournament: $200/
Season: $950.00/field
Dominion of Canada Building $200.00/day + $30.00 hydro
Pavillions $15.00/hour + hydro
(where applicable) $30.00/day

Belmont Lions and Lioness Clubs Hall Rental Agreement: By-Law 1694 passed unanimously by those voting (Matthews and McFarlan conflicts)

This was a separately negotiated agreement, from March 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017, for the Belmont Lions and Lioness for use of the Belmont Banquet Hall for their general meetings, negotiated because they have recurring use for a set number of days (once a month for the Lioness and twice a month for the Lions = 36 days/times per year): "To pay a $50.00 flat rate per regular meeting night for the duration of this agreement."

Over 55 Club (Port Stanley) Hall Rental Agreement: By-Law 1695 passed unanimously by those voting (Matthews and McFarlan conflicts)

This was a separately negotiated agreement, from March 1, 2014 to February 28, 2017, to permit The Club to use the Auditorium at the Port Stanley Arena and Community Centre, for regular weekly meetings annually, each Monday from the hours of 11:30 a.m to 4:00 p.m. specifically., negotiated because they have recurring use for a set number of days (52 days/times per year): "To pay $4,000.00 annually, payable in two equal installments on March 1st and September 1st, for the duration of this agreement." [This works out to $76.92 per regular meeting day and includes Statutory Holidays, as the club meets to play Euchre even on Stat Holidays.]

Highlights from Report DFS 03-14: 2012 Audit Findings Letter:

No items of concern or non-conformity were discovered during the 2012 audit.

At the end of 2012 Central Elgin had $24,682,604 in total financial assets and $30,524,308 in total financial debts, for a net financial debt of $5,841,704. The municipality also had $102,514,259 in tangible capital assets and $37,068 in pre-paid expenses, for a total of $102,551,327 in non-financial assets; for an accumulated surplus of $96,709,623.

Total actual revenues in 2012 were $20,098,122 and total actual expenses were $17,132,107, generating an annual surplus of $2,966,015.

By-laws 1696, 1697, 1698 and 1699 were taken and passed collectively by unanimous vote. By-law 1693 was taken separately and passed with only David Marr voting against it. By-laws 1694 (in which McFarlan declared a conflict of interest) and 1695 were included in the batch taken and passed collectively that also included By-laws 1689 (ESDA in which Matthews declared a conflict of interest), 1691, and 1692. The 2012 Audits Finding report was received as information and filed.


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