CCCA 2020 finances at $117,440 surplus

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Catfish Creek Conservation Authority (CCCA), despite the pandemic year, ended 2020 with a $117,440 surplus. A large portion of the surplus funds ($72,631) came from federal funding, the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy.

Jennifer Buchanan, partner at Graham Scott Enns accounting, presented the CCCA with an audited report at the March 11 virtual annual general meeting.

The report included a summary of revenues and expenditures for the CCCA throughout 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all sectors of our economy, and Catfish Creek was no exception,” noted Ms. Buchanan.

The largest source of revenue for the CCCA, camping and day use, was at $585,889 last year, which amounted to $51,000 less than 2019. The expenses associated with camping and day use were similar to that of the prior year.

“In 2020 there was a delayed start to the camping season, but camping day use and trails were also a popular and safe activity,” said Ms. Buchanan. She added the cancellation of the Springwater Maple Syrup Festival midway through also hurt CCCA finances.

CCCA received about $383,000 of municipal levies from watershed municipalities of Aylmer, Central Elgin, Malahide, Southwest Oxford, and St. Thomas. About $30,000 were special benefitting levies, mostly relating to ice and flooding management in Port Bruce.

CCCA received $157,286 in provincial and federal works programs, more than double the previous year, and $73,876 in donations and sponsorships. Ms. Buchanan said the amount of federal and provincial grants received varies every year.

“Other provincial grants did decrease significantly, and that's because it's project based funding, and there were fewer projects undertaken in 2020,” she said.

The total revenue amounts to $1,313,608, about $30,000 below 2019.

There was an increase in expenditures for mandated programs at $298,167, up about $20,000 from the year before. Ms. Buchanan noted this was mostly related to flood forecasts and warnings, as well as flood control structures.

There was a notable decrease in spending for special projects, surveys and studies: CCCA spent $58,204 in this category, about $83,000 less than the year before. Ms. Buchanan attributed this to the operating environment.

Veronica Reiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express