Town amends borrowing bylaw as part of financial update

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Town council has agreed to amend its temporary borrowing bylaw as part of an update on the current financial situation.

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Sequeira said he was doing some “preliminary number crunching” with regards to the town’s cash flow and believed it wouldn’t hurt if the temporary borrowing bylaw was amended.

“It doesn’t cost us anything if we don’t use it,” said Sequeira.

Mayor Wayne Hurst called it a “safeguard” for the town. He said his main concern is ensuring timely information comes before town council so that proper decisions can be made.

Timely information includes the town’s financial statements and Sequeira said the town is “on track” to complete the 2012 financial statements by the August council meeting. While the town is working closely with its auditors, Sequeira stated “we’re doing a lot of it in house” which is saving the town time and money.

Sequeira did note there is roughly $17 million in unfinanced capital, about $8.4 million of which is attributed to completed capital projects He said $7.3 million will be covered through funding the town has yet to receive due to the lagging financial statements with $1.1 million to be financed. There is roughly $9 million in ongoing capital projects with $2.8 million to be financed with the remainder having funding attached to it through grants that haven’t yet been completely paid to the town.

Administration will develop policies including a budget and financial control policy and an update of the town’s purchasing policy, he stated, adding there has to be clearer policies dealing with over-expenditures and revenue shortfalls and a better process for dealing with unbudgeted items.

All 2013 identified spending requests will be personally reviewed by CAO Mike Phipps, Sequeira noted.

Sequeira told council there is progress in improving the town’s financial situation.

“I sense by the end of the year we should have a good plan to address this,” he stated. “I’m optimistic. I think we are moving in the right direction.”

Suggestions the town may have difficulty paying bills or staff is “ludicrous,” he added.

Councillor Bob Pillon called Sequeira’s report “positive” and said his first report at the June 24 meeting “stunned” town council.

“I think it stunned the press too with all the comments coming out,” Pillon said, referring to various media reports. “The town is not going broke. We are paying the bills.”

Pillon added he was approached by a vendor with the vendor wondering if he was going to be paid.

“That’s what happens when things get blown up,” said Pillon. “The town is running good. The town is in good shape.”

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