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City’s debt level at $24 million

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.

Councillors hear auditor’s report on 2010 financial statements, May 4

By Lindsey Enns

Financial statements from the year 2010 were revealed to the public in a special City Council meeting, May 4, and the numbers indicated that Dryden’s Centennial year, was a tough one financially for the municipality.

With an annual deficit for 2010 recorded at nearly $8.4 million, auditor Don Yurkiw of BDO Dunwoody who presented the financial statements assured council members that the numbers could change significantly with the inclusion of the the city’s capital assets, which were not listed.

The Dryden telephone and mobility service, DMTS, currently falls in the deficit and continues to be a growing area of concern, in Yurkiw’s professional opinion.

“Bringing in the mobility and telephone service changed these numbers significantly,” Yurkiw told council.

In his experience, Yurkiw says another area of concern was the amount of accumulated sick leave, which he says is much higher here than other municipalities and is something that surprised some city councillors.

“They are what they are and it is the city’s policy to not put a top on the amount of sick leave but I am still surprised by this,” councillor Brian Collins said.

As a whole, the municipality has an accumulated debt of $24 million and Mayor Craig Nuttall says that he is looking forward to getting a grip on the city’s finances in 2012.

“We can’t keep borrowing money without paying it back anymore,” Nuttall said. “We need to work out a long-term debt plan in order to get our interest rate down on our loan payments.”

While these numbers could be disappointing to council members, Nuttall is glad that they were made public.

“These should always be made public because it is the taxpayers’ money that we are handling and they have the right to know how it is being spent.”

Nuttall adds upcoming budgets will focus on what the city of Dryden needs, not wants.

“Next year’s budget plan will be really tough but right now our downtown businesses are doing very well and we have the potential to become a service hub.”

For more information and to view the 2010 financial statements you can visit Dryden.ca.

 

One thought on “City’s debt level at $24 million

  1. I’m rather surprised there are no comments to date on this story for two reasons. (1) The muni’s financials have been released late and with great difficulty in preparation (2) How did the City formulate a budget for 2011 (and 2012 for that matter) without having access to 2010’s financials? I’d expect the muni would have a financial year-end, a certain amount of time to organize and report to the auditor and then a period of time for the actual preparation and auditing of the numbers. One would think the final numbers should be available within 5 months of year-end. I’d also fully expect the financials for all city-owned assets to be public knowledge. As a taxpayer in the city, I am getting a little worried the budget is out-of-control to the point of no return. Default looks like a possibility. The Dryden of the 1980s which minted expectations of those on council (and most voters) can not be sustained with the tax base of the new millennium. Though I hate to see it go, the City is going to have to become a shadow of its former self or face a highly embarrassing intervention. I don’t think we can walk away from this mortgage!

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