Morinville audited financials show $1.3 million deficit

Audited financials show Town ran a new operational deficit of $1,348,145 in 2021.

by Colin Smith

Morinville’s books are in good shape, but aspects of its finances could use some attention.

That’s according to Curtis Friesen, who appeared before council Tuesday to present the town’s 2021 audited financial statements prepared by the chartered accounting firm Matrix Group LLP.

Friesen told council that there were no problems with the audit, which was completed in March after initial work was done in December.

“As we went through our tests during the audit, everything checked out,” he said. “We don’t have concerns or issues to bring to council. All the questions we asked were answered and all the supporting documentation we wanted was provided.”

The financial statement showed Morinville took in $22,549,613 in revenue in 2021.

This included net property taxes of $10,295,959, the remainder of the $14,096,310 in taxes collected after $3,800,351 was diverted to the province for education and Homeland Housing for their requisition.

The town spent $28,472,300, for an annual deficit of $5,922,687. Government transfers and gains on disposals of capital assets brought in an additional $4,574,542, bringing the deficit down to $1,348,145.

“We’re always looking at generating enough revenue to cover operating and capital costs,” Friesen said. “This would indicate that you are not generating enough.”

Year-end saw the town with financial assets of $11,244,531, including cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable and loans receivable, compared to $10,421,020 the previous year.

Friesen noted that cash and cash equivalents were up over 2020, and accounts receivable were down. This year, a new item is loans receivable, a sum of $972,185 stemming from a land sale by the town that is to be fully collected by the end of 2024.

“Your receivables have gone down because you collected some grants last year,” said Friesen. “You had some large grants, and now they’ve come in.”

Liabilities in 2021 amounted to $23,934,184, the bulk of that being long-term debt related to the Morinville Leisure Centre, compared to $24,560,076 the previous year. Repayment reduced the amount of long-term debt to $19,314,869 from $20,354,442.

The town’s net debt in 2021 was $12,689,654 compared to $14,139,056 in 2020.

At the end of last year, Morinville possessed tangible capital assets valued at $145, 830,608, which is made up of all town-owned infrastructure, including roads, water, waste water systems and buildings. There were $76,653 in other non-financial assets.

The year’s accumulated surplus was $133,217,607, down from $134,565,752.

“In comparison to the previous year, this was another year of reducing your accumulated surplus,” Friesen commented. “That is a trend you’ll want to swing the other way around going forward.”

Council voted to approve the audited financial statements.

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