By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
First and foremost — Doug Wilde, from the Mercer Wilde Group said — the Town of Picture Butte’s Director of Corporate Services Patrick Lyster is doing a good job.
“He did a great job this year and he’s taking on more and more responsibilities. He did the financial statements for us this year. He’s doing a fantastic job.”
Wilde presented council with an independent auditor’s report at a regular council meeting held Apr. 24.
“That basically spells out my responsibilities as the auditor and your responsibilities as the management. Your responsibility is to put the information together. Basically, have good book keeping, which you do and our responsibility is to provide an opinion on those aspects,” he pointed out.
According to Wilde, the opinion of the auditor is the financial statements of the Town of Picture Butte are in order with the Canadian public sector accounting standards. “That’s a good thing.”
“We go through the accounting records. We review things on a sample basis, so we take a look at a few transactions and run them through a cycle,” he explained, as part of the process.
As far as the results for the town’s operations, Wilde said, on a consolidated basis the town’s transactions for the year 2016, overall the town had a total excess of revenue over expenses or a net surplus of a little over $1 million. “Which is a good thing.”
Revenue was up 4.8 per cent , he added. “Compared to 3.2 last year.”
“A major reason for that is the sale of land this year. The subdivision is doing very well. Of that increase, about $1.4 million of it is in relation to land sales. So we had approximately $700,000 in residential and then some industrial lots sold,” he said.
With the town’s revenue being up, Wilde noted, expenditures were up.
“But, the main source of expenditures are the cost of sales and cost of the land,” he said, adding other expenditure increases are due to the town’s infrastructure master plan.
According to Wilde, the town is on good financial footing.
Council also approved the town’s Operating and Capital Budgets for 2017.