Youngstown in search of auditing services

Written by Terri Huxley

The Village of Youngstown is in a bit of a conundrum as they continue their search for an auditor before the height of the season begins.

Their former auditor, Roxzana McNiven of Roxzana McNiven Professional Accounting, told administration a couple of months ago she would not be doing any more audits for the village as she had moved to another province in an effort for semi-retirement.

Since then, the village has been speaking with other similar-sized and close proximity communities to determine how much an audit would cost and which were the best companies to reach out to.

An estimate between $7,500 and $10,000 was expected.

Out of the four companies administration reached out to for quotes, one was returned from Ascend LLP based in Hanna for $20,275.

Ascend offered some discount pricing for the first couple of years, offering $4,000 off the first year and $2,000 the next to determine what work needs to be done and then adjust it as needed.

At the regular meeting held on Tues. Dec. 7, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Emma Garlock felt this estimate was extremely high, ‘2.8 times higher’ than what they normally paid at $7,350.

“$10,000 is more than enough for an audit of a municipality,” said CAO Garlock. “Ratepayers would not appreciate their taxes going up because of this.”

“Over double [in price] is quite a jump,” added Coun. Ken Johnson

She recommended council wait until the next meeting on Wed. Dec. 22 to seek other options.

Coun. Johnson offered to contact his own accountant as well to possibly get a quote which council and administration were agreeable to.

Water rate increasing?

The Henry Kroeger Regional Water Services board has been considering raising their prices by two per cent.

Another meeting will take place before Christmas to decide but it was shared at Youngstown’s council table that they may have to increase their own prices to be in line with the board.

It is currently $2.89 per cubic metre from Henry Kroeger, proposing an increase to $2.93 per cubic metre.

The village currently charges $3.40 so it was suggested to raise the price to $3.50 per cubic metre.

No motions were made at this time as this was an information item for council and administration to be aware of.

Sewer charges are not expected to rise.

Lot purchase stalled

A person recently offered to buy a lot that was recently a part of the village’s tax recovery sale. But the village has yet to make title as there is a backlog at the land title’s office, putting a pause on the sale.

Council agreed they would hold onto the property for now until the paperwork with the province is completed before agreeing to sell the property located within the village.

Administration will reach out to the potential buyer informing them of the situation.

 

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.