County of Essex receives 2017 consolidated financial statements



By Ron Giofu


The County of Essex has received its 2017 consolidated financial statements and they show the county is in good financial health.

The report, presented by director of financial services/treasurer Sandra Zwiers, state that the 2017 consolidated financial statements “illustrate the Corporation’s continued commitment to sound financial planning and long-term fiscal sustainability.”

“KPMG has expressed a clean(unqualified) audit opinion following its examination of the accounts of the Corporation. An unqualified audit opinion is an auditor’s judgment that the Corporation’s results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2017, and its financial position as at December 31, 2017 are fairly and appropriately represented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in the Consolidated Financial Report,” Zwiers stated in her report.

Zwiers noted that KPMG did not find any significant unusual transactions, no change in the application of accounting policies, no exceptions in testing on significant estimates, no illegal acts or possible illegal acts, no fraud or suspected fraud involving administration or employees and no audit differences were identified.

KPMG also received full co-operations from administration and employees from the County of Essex, Zwiers’ report indicated.

The county’s accumulated surplus sat at $282.7 million as of Dec. 31, 2017, with the 2017 annual surplus being just over $25.4 million. The county’s 2017 budget surplus was approximately $407,500, exclusive of EWSWA operations.

The county had nearly $126 million in reserves at the end of 2017.

The County of Essex has committed upwards of $100 million for the new mega-hospital with just over $6.4 million in reserves to support that initiative. Other county commitments include a $1 million commitment over ten years that started in 2010 to the Windsor Regional Hospital “Cornerstone of Caring” campaign, a $2 million commitment over ten years to the Hospice-Erie Shores facility in Leamington that started in 2014 and a $1.1 million commitment over five years to the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc. (SWIFT) initiative and the latter commitment commenced in 2015.

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