Castor town council hears financials are fine

Written by Stu Salkeld

Castor town council approved its audited financial statements at their regular council meeting June 13 where they heard the municipality is sitting on solid financial footing.

Councillors heard a presentation from Chris Annand of RWA Accountants, the town’s official auditor. Annand confirmed the company followed generally accepted auditing standards when examining the town’s 2021 financial statement. He noted the town staff is still responsible for the accuracy of the statement but the auditor’s job is to express an opinion on its accuracy.

Annand stated RWA Accounting feels the financial statement presented to them does accurately represent the financial situation of the town.

The auditor went through several summaries with councillors, beginning with the balance sheet. He stated the revenues side of the sheet was up about $300,000 from the previous year and described this side of the balance sheet as representing cash, accounts receivable, utilities receivable, grants, inventory and investments, among other things.

The other side of the sheet, liabilities, included things like accounts payable and deferred revenue.

The auditor pointed out the Town of Castor’s total loan payments next year total $205,000.

The auditor stated the Town of Castor’s maximum long term debt limit is about $5.8 million and the town’s current long term debt is about $1.2 million, “…so no issues there,” said Annand.

When examining the statement of operations actual revenues were up $300,000 and this was mostly due to utility revenue and rising natural gas prices.

Looking at expenses, Annand noted that the big difference not budgeted for is amortization of about $500,000 in value and this involves property and not cash. As well, rising natural gas prices also affected the town.

Annand stated the Town of Castor’s excess revenue over expenses is about $500,000, which is not an unusual amount because grants received by the town are included in that number.

He noted the town’s financial assets increased by about $300,000 while financial liabilities decreased by about $200,000.

While discussing the statement of cash flow the auditor noted about $500,000 was placed in the restricted reserves, which are funds set aside for specific purposes by motion of council. There were no changes in this area over the past year stated Annand.

The auditor stated the town has a lot of cash on hand and ran a surplus for the year, which is not a bad position to be in.

“Financially, I think you’re in a good position,” said Annand.
Councillors unanimously accepted the audited financial statement.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.