Notice from province over late financial statement

Written by Stu Salkeld

The Village of Elnora received a notice from the Government of Alberta over the late filing of its annual financial statement. The notice was discussed by council at their Nov. 14 regular meeting.

Councillors heard a report from Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Sharon Wesgate about the agenda item “2022 municipal indicator results.”

Readers should note that municipal indicators are provided by Municipal Affairs to each Alberta municipality and is essentially a review of how that town, village or county is following the rules laid out in the Municipal Government Act (MGA).

An unsigned email from municipal information services dated Oct. 30 stated that the Village of Elnora apparently missed an important obligation.

“Alberta Municipal Affairs annually reports a performance measure that identifies the percentage of municipalities deemed to ‘not face potential long-term viability challenges based on their financial and governance indicators,’” stated the email.

“The performance measure is based on analysis of 13 municipal indicators. Each of the 13 municipal indicators has a defined benchmark.

“A municipality is ‘not deemed to face potential long term viability challenges’ as long as it does not flag a critical indicator or three or more non-critical indicators.
“Your municipality did not meet the threshold for one or more indicators.” The email stated the Village of Elnora didn’t meet indicator #8, “on-time financial reporting,” explaining that the financial reporting was to be sent to the provincial government before May 1, 2023.

According to the email the village’s 2022 financial reporting wasn’t submitted until Sept. 18, 2023, about four and a half months late.

During discussion, Wesgate stated it was the financial statement that was sent in late which was the only shortcoming identified. Mayor Jul Bissell asked what the village was doing to avoid this problem in the future.

Wesgate responded she spoke to the village’s official auditor about beginning the audit sooner, allowing the village to approve its financial statement sooner and meet the indicator deadline.

Offer to purchase
Councillors unanimously approved a business owner’s offer to trade his services for a piece of equipment the village no longer wanted.

The CAO presented an email from Loren Reid of High Pressure Flushing. “I am wondering if you still have the Onan generator?,” stated a Nov. 2 email. “I am interested in it. I am offering three hours of our services which works out to $780 to purchase the Onan (portable) generator.”

During discussion Wesgate stated the businessman was essentially proposing a trade: his services for the generator. During discussion councillors talked about what the generator’s scrap value would be.

Wesgate pointed out this business has done work for the village in the past and the village does require flushing services.

Garbage truck
Wesgate gave an update on the village-owned garbage truck that is apparently no longer needed.

Wesgate stated the truck has some rust and it was specifically designed for garbage collecting meaning it may be difficult to convert to other uses.

Mayor Bissell added that it appears nobody is interested in buying the truck and wondered if the village should consider sending it to auction.

Councillors agreed to table this topic, conduct more research on options for disposing of the truck and discuss it again at a future meeting.

Bylaw officer summary
Councillors perused a Red Deer County community peace officer (CPO) summary for bylaw work done in the Village of Elnora.

The report, signed by Sgt. Irv Heide, stated in September county officers spent four hours and 33 minutes in Elnora.

“There were no tickets issued during that time,” stated Heide.

Water alarms
Public Works Foreman Rod Rintoul’s regular report to council noted a couple of alarms went off recently but were not a serious concern.

“We had two power outages that triggered [water system] alarms in October,” stated Rintoul’s report. “These alarms were only to let us know that the generator was running.”

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.