City’s financial house in fine form

Outside auditor offers plaudits to Castlegar for state of its finances

It’s good to know when things are going well with the budget, but when an independent expert says they’re going well, it’s very good.

It’s no wonder, therefore, the good feelings over the city’s finances are permeating city hall in the wake of a most positive report from Don Simpson, partner with BDO, one of the leading accounting and advisory firms in the country.

Simpson shared the news with Castlegar City Council to open the regular meeting of June 23.

A passing grade would be one way to describe the result of a close look at the City’s financial house.

Simpson, after directing gratitude to city staff for having all materials at the ready “in a timely fashion,” credited the city for financial records which were “correct in all respects, according to fundamental accounting framework.”

“As auditors we’re always looking for financial health in an organization,” told council. “About two thirds of the way down the document there’s a line item called net financial assets, that dollar value represents cash and negotiable instruments in excess of all financial liabilities of the city. The City of Castlegar, at the end of 2013 had approximately $5.6 million in net financial assets.”

Mayor Chernoff commented after the meeting.

“It’s tremendous when you look around and you’ve got $5.4 million of net (liquid) assets and the auditor says ‘you guys are in great shape. The good thing about it is that we’re in great shape, but we’re still doing things on a regular basis. We’re doing well and taxes aren’t too high. It’s working out well.”

Chief Administrative Officer John Malcolm commented on the situation in a July 10 phone call with the Castlegar News.

“Clearly it reflects the great work of our Chief Financial Officer (Andre Buss) and his team.”

The high marks earned by the City of Castlegar take on added significance when hearing Malcolm supply relevant background information.

“There was a major change in financial reporting and balance sheets a few years ago,” said Malcolm. “It included a requirement for local governments to depreciate their capital assets. This was something that was new. You had to add up the value of sewer pipes, water pipes, roads, storm drains, fire trucks… everything the municipality owned, and apply a depreciation against it, and most municipalities in the province came out with a very significant minus.”

At this point Andre Buss weighed in. “We got a positive balance of net financial assets,” said the Director of Finance. “One of the biggest things is that we don’t have long term debt.”

Malcolm interjected that the local council has been known to take on long term debt, but also to conscientiously pay it down as soon as possible and practical.

“It (long term debt) is not necessarily a bad thing,” explained Malcolm, “but to date Council has been wary of taking it on.”

What the financial scenario boils down to, among other considerations, is that the city has a handy cushion… some ready resources should some kind of emergency come up.

Just Posted

Choir leader’s selfless work wins her Castlegar Citizen of the Year

Christina Nolan has grown the community choir into a strong and vibrant asset for the city

Water main maintenance ongoing in South Castlegar and Blueberry

Project will take two weeks — city says there should not be any service disruptions

Downtown businesses want you to love them this weekend

Third annual event encourages people to shop in their own community.

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

Grand Forks woman assaulted in home invasion

The incident took place Wednesday morning

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

GALLERY: First responders in Fernie return baby owl to its nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Most Read