Town finishes 2011 with operating budget surplus
The Town of Stony Plain has closed the books on the 2011 budget and what remains is an estimated operating surplus of $163,392.
Council reviewed and discussed a report from administration at the regular council meeting on Feb. 27. There were miscellaneous savings from various departments to make up the surplus. Council approved redistribution of last year’s excess funds to several reserves:
- $54,464 to the Tax Levy Stabilization Reserve
- $54,464 to General Purpose Reserve;
- $27,232 to the Recreation Reserve; and
- $27,232 to the Trails Reserve.
Town policy stipulates that 1/3 of any annual operating surpluses must be contributed to the Tax Levy Stabilization Reserve. These dollars are used in the following fiscal year to subsidize the tax levy, and a portion of the surplus is returned to ratepayers.
With the transfer of surplus funds from last year, the General Purpose Reserve will increase from $960,654.72 to $1,015,118.94. This reserve is designated for general capital purposes, such as the purchase of land; construction of new facilities; internal borrowing; or any other purpose designated by council.
The balances of the recreation and trails reserves, as of Dec. 31, were $745,497.65 and $118,847.40, respectively. There are funds from these reserves that are already budgeted and committed for projects in 2012.
“It is wise and important to set aside funds for future needs,” says William Choy, deputy mayor of Stony Plain. “The Town has a wide variety of reserves in place to help fund future projects, in order to ensure the ongoing sustainability and vitality of the community.”
The 2011 operating budget surplus is not official until a third-party audit is completed this spring; however, no major changes to this estimated balance are anticipated. Every year, an independent auditor reviews the Town’s financial statements and prepares an audit report, which is shared with council and made available to the public. The report follows the Canadian Auditing Standards (CAS) – used for audits of financial statements and which constitute Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS).
The 2010 audit, completed in April 2011, revealed that the Town is in good shape financially, with low debt, moderate reserves, low taxes and controlled spending. A copy of the report is posted on the Town’s website and is available for review at the Town Office during regular business hours; the 2011 report, which will be completed in April, will be made publicly available once it is approved by council.
For more information, visit www.stonyplain.com, or call 780.963.2151.