City marks 2013 surplus in audited financial statements

Lisa
Lisa Goudy
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The only Saskatchewan city with a higher net financial asset position than Moose Jaw is Regina.

City hall is seen on Monday.

“Moose Jaw compares quite favourably to the majority of other cities,” said Brian Acker, director of financial services. “Some of the cities actually have brackets, which mean they have a net debt situation so if they were to liquidate all of their financial assets, they’d actually be in liability.”

He presented the 2013 audited financial statements to council at Monday’s meeting.

Financial assets include cash as well as temporary and long-term investments. Liabilities include long-term debt that is owed and accounts payable. Net financial assets include the financial assets minus the financial liabilities.

Moose Jaw’s 2013 net financial asset position was $81.82 million compared to $71.73 million in 2012. Regina’s net financial asset position was $115.78 million in 2013 compared to $80.41 million in 2012.

Saskatoon’s position was $52.82 million in 2013 and $115.06 million in 2012. Swift Current had a net financial asset position of ($48.57 million) in 2013 compared to ($40.80 million) in 2012.  Prince Albert’s position was ($8.17 million) in 2013 and ($12.38 million) in 2012

He added most of the increase in net financial assets for Moose Jaw is because of some liabilities that are no longer in place.

“The majority of that is related to some liabilities that we no longer have. A portion of that is related to the new hospital project because we paid some of that money so we no longer show that as a liability,” said Acker.

There was also a $2.8 million reduction of long-term debt.

“That’s enhanced our overall net financial position,” added Acker.

The city recorded a $125,000-surplus in 2013. Revenues came in $786,000-higher than was expected, according to Acker’s report, and helped offset expenses higher than expected including snow removal and flood control.

In 2013 the city spent  $1.22 million in snow removal and sanding compared to a budget of $539,558. There is currently $907,000 in the snow removal reserve.

Last year, the city also spent $340,000 in flood control. The city received just over $100,000 from the provincial government to offset the cost, Acker said.

Other numbers included in the statements included the city’s reserves. The total amount in the reserves in 2013 was $106.09 million compared to $98.33 million in 2012.

The capital expenditure fund contained $33.77 million, with $26.55 million in land development funds and $1.39 million in the parking reserve. The equipment reserve had a balance of $23.40 million in 2013 compared to $21.40 in 2012 and the waterworks fund had a balance of $9.45 million in 2013 compared to $6.12 million in 2012.

“All of those are designated for appropriate uses. As an example, the moneys in our waterworks fund are going to our infrastructure rehabilitation through our waterworks utility,” said Acker. “At this point in time, we have those funds set aside for accumulating them for the projects that they’re doing.”

Taxes provide largest revenue for the city in 2013

The largest revenue item is municipal taxes, which totaled $21.66 million or 28.1 per cent of revenue in 2013.

That is an increase of $1.72 million or 8.6 per cent from 2012.

Taxation per capita was $650.86, the second lowest of five sampled cities in Saskatchewan. Swift Current had taxation of $609.92 per capita; Saskatoon had $802.83 per capita; Regina had $905.45 per capita; and Prince Albert had $927.27 per capita.

The second highest revenue item is contributions, grants and subsidies at $16.80 million or 21.8 per cent of overall revenues. The third largest component is utilities, which includes waterworks, sanitary sewer and the city’s share of the Buffalo Pound water administration board at $14.87 million or 19.3 per cent of overall revenues.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Prince Albert

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Swift Current

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