Surplus allocated to township reserves

MAPLETON – A 2019 municipal budget surplus of nearly $1.5 million will be put into various township reserves, including a fund designed to offset future tax increases.

During the June 16 meeting, township council received a report from finance director John Morrison indicating the audited consolidated financial statements show a budget variance and operating surplus for 2019 of $1,466,239.

At Morrison’s recommendation, council approved allocations from the surplus of $17,000 into the Winter Control Reserve and $48,995 into the Environmental Reserve Fund.

Council also approved allocation of $433,581 into the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve and directed staff to use these funds to amend the three-year operating budget in order to offset proposed budgeted levy increases of $231,539 in 2021 and $202,042 in 2022.

Council allocated the balance of the surplus to the Capital Reserve and directed staff to amend the 2020-29 capital budget forecast by moving shovel-ready projects forward.

Council also approved the 2019 audited financial statements.

Morrison’s report explained the surplus management measures are consistent with the township’s recent move to a long-term budgeting approach.

“The long-term financial plan adopted by council with its approval of the three-year operating budget and 10-year capital budget is a comprehensive and integrated approach in identifying and managing risk,” the report states.

“It is a strategy for sustainability.

“Its intent is to balance the appropriate funding level against the need to maintain an appropriate level in discretionary reserves critical for maintaining the township’s assets.”

A report presented by Morrison in May, based on the township’s financial position as of March 31,  projected “a small year-end deficit” of $115,021 for 2020.