Finances brought to surface with yearly audit presentation

Written by Terri Huxley

It was a day of financials for Starland County councillors at their regular meeting on Wed. April 22.

Judy Fazekas gave a detailed overview of Starland’s 2019 operating summary including expenses and revenue.

Overall, the county saw a surplus of $1.2 million due to cost-saving measures put in place last year.

However, Fazekas explained that this will not be in line with the results of the audited financial statements as there are still millions of dollars in non-cash expenses that have yet to be included like $2.8 million in amortization expenses, $660,000 in further bad debt expense for Sanling and AlphaBow, as well as other expenses related to overhead and capital costs.

For the expense side of things, 3.2 million was budgeted for bad debt for Trident and other oil and gas tax receivable write-offs in 2019. 

The total bad debt for last year was $3,582,497.05, which was more than the original estimate of $3,185,374.26.

There was also $445,076.57 in expenses related to the 2018 office fire as no budget was established.

All of this resulted in the unexpected expenditure of $827,573.62.

The environmental treatment water expenses were $100,000 under budget thanks to reduced spending of 30,000 in contracted repairs, $40,000 in maintenance costs like parts and supplies, and $30,000 in water purchases.

An extra $15,000 was saved as there were no contracted sewer repairs in 2019.

Jeff Faupel from Endeavor Chartered Accounting followed this summary with an audit report.

They had to audit a little differently as they tried to obtain as many records as they could as the fire took away many records originally kept on file.

“It seemed to work well,” said Faupel. “As far as the audit is concerned I think we are happy.”

A motion to move $1.050 million from restricted surplus to capital costs was accepted.

A second motion to use unrestricted surplus was also approved.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.