Debt increases, assets decrease: Audited report

Alix council

The Village of Alix’s debt more than doubled in 2015 and its financial assets are decreasing, according to the village’s 2015 Financial Statements.

Daniel Luymes, of BDO Canada, presented Alix council with the 2015 Financial Statements for the Village of Alix at its regular meeting May 4. They show that the village’s debt at the end of 2015 was $1,485,188, compared with $672,929 in 2014. The village’s total financial assets as of Dec. 31 2015 were $1,128,947, compared with $1,137,989 in 2015.

Accumulated surplus depleted in 2015 to $8,584,479 from $8,731,943 in 2014. Alix’s non-financial assets in 2015 were $10,069,667 compared with $9,404,872 in 2014.

Alix had long-term debt debentures of $2,162,317 at yearend in 2015 compared with $1,526,210 in 2014. In 2016 Alix will pay $93,207 in principal payments and $75,649 in interest.

In 2015 Alix collected $1,371,821 in taxes (Real property – $1,093,262; machinery and equipment – $469,208; linear property – $27,591; government grants in place of property taxes – $6,469; Alberta School Foundation Fund requisition – $215,633; Lacombe Foundation – $7,308; Ambulance – $1,768.

In 2014 Alix collected $1,346,399 in taxes.

Alix received $374,122 in government transfer payments in 2015, compared with $195,665 in 2014.

The lion share of expenses for the village in 2015 were salaries and wages to employees at $1,078,155. In 2014 the cost was $988,410.  In 2015 Alix spent $989,130 on contracted and general services, compared with $894,288 in 2014.

Other large expenditures include materials, goods and utilities at $623,812 in 2015 compared with $595,303 in 2014.

Village council’s salary in 2015 was: Mayor Nelson – $7,631; Deputy Mayor Peterson – $7,631; Coun. Fehr – $7,560; Coun. Widmann – $3,795. Former Chief Administrative Officer Bonnie Cretzman was paid $111,771 in 2015, compared with $119,700 in 2014.

 Moonwalkers’ costs

In 2015 Moonwalkers’ costs were: $150,377 – personnel; $51,894 – operations; $121,887 – building and utilities; general and merchandise – $4,705 – food costs. – $17,569.

Moonwalkers’ revenues were: Admission and room rentals – $163,399; miscellaneous revenues – $11,915; food revenues – $23,977 for a total of $199,292. In accounting the parentheses indicate a net loss meaning expenses exceeded revenues.

Debt limit

The village’s total debt limit available in 2015 was $1,975,252 and in 2014 it was $2,664,985. The total debt-servicing limit available in 2015 for Alix was $520,739 compared with $575,280 in 2014.

But Luymes cautions in his report to the village that the calculation alone doesn’t represent the financial stability of the municipality but rather the financial statements must be interpreted as a whole.

In his report, Luymes said, “The budget adopted by council on May 6, 2015, was not prepared on a basis consistent with that used to report actual results (Public Sector Accounting Standards). The budget was prepared on a modified accrual basis while Public Sector Accounting Standards now require a full accrual basis.

Luymes said, “The budget anticipated use of surpluses accumulated in previous years to fund current year operation and capital activities. Amortization was not budgeted. The budget expenses all tangible capital expenditures.”

 Village passes 2016 budget

The Village of Alix passed its 2016 capital and operating budget May 4 with a 2.99 per cent increase in taxes.
“Council wanted to keep it (increase) under three per cent,” said acting Chief Administrative Officer Tanya Meston.

The 2016 budget includes $1,629, 881 in revenue ($863,735 in residential taxes; $284,398 in commercial taxes; $472,957 in industrial taxes; $26,635 – power and pipe; and $2,155 in federal grants in lieu).

Other taxes include $42,000 for Atco franchise payment and $185,474 for Fortis franchise fee. Other revenue include: penalties $50,000; penalties and costs utilities $5,000; investments $5,000 and miscellaneous revenue $15,000.

The village budgeted $426,564 for general administration expenses for 2016.  In 2015 council budgeted $436,216 for general admin expenses and the actual was $471,224. Medical building expenses were budgeted at $3,554 for 2016, down from $9,362 in 2015.

Council budgeted $411,353 for the youth centre in 2016 and $43,759 for fire protection. Other items in the 2016 budget include:  public works – $302,266; streets and roads – $340,829; recreation – $196,426; campground – $77,401; trail – $43,656; arena – $52,959; parks – $52,286; library – $25,444; and community hall – $8,350.

Council budgeted $111,711 for sewer (lift station) in 2016. The village’s 10-year capital budget shows $1,755,000 budgeted for sewer.

 Aging infrastructure to cost

Earlier this year a delegation from MPE Engineering told Alix council that more than $4 million in capital work needs to be done in the next five to six years just to stay ahead of the village’s aging infrastructure.

Three main projects need to be completed in the next few years including the lift station, 49 St. sewer and lagoon upgrades. Mike Breunig of MPE Engineering told council that the village needs to do projects every few years in the coming decades to catch up to repairs of its aging infrastructure.

He cautioned council in February that they will have to make some decisions in the future about funding.

“You have a lot of stuff to do over the next 30 years.”

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