At the Oct. 19 council meeting, Limerick Township council looked at their third quarter financial reports. While the variance report puts the township departments at around 80 per cent at this point in the year, being the third quarter. Despite some large variances in a few sections of the financial report, and while a variance of 75 per cent would be better overall, both Steven Potter, the acting clerk and treasurer, and Victoria Tisdale, the deputy clerk and treasurer, felt that the township was on the right track to meet its financial objectives by the end of the year.
Steven Potter, the acting clerk and treasurer, commented on the reports, saying that the department heads had all commented on any variances within the report as it relates to their own department.
“Overall, our position in the third quarter, while not exactly at 75 per cent throughout the year, is sitting at 80 per cent. I anticipate when I look at this that we’ll be alright by the end of the year. That remains to be seen but we’re close enough. I didn’t see a lot of things that are terribly awry,” he says.
Victoria Tisdale, the deputy clerk and treasurer, made seven recommendations to the council for approval; that council approve the deputy clerk and deputy treasurer’s report as presented, that council approve the transfer of $21,366.43 from two Gas Tax accounts to the Roads Department account for gravel, that council approves the transfer of $50,000 from the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund to the Road’s Department’s gravel account, that council approve the transfer of $4,792.78 from Planning Fees to Shoreline/Road Allowance purchase, that council approves the transfer of $36,300 from Chequing account to the Emergency Measures once received, that council approve the transfer of $395.50 from account 16-1120 to 16-1230 due to a clerical error being made and that council approve the transfer of $9,629.51 from Salaries/Point System to the fire chief, proposed for the fire chief’s salary, with the stipulation that the points account should be used for VFF rather than the fire chief’s renumeration. These recommendations were subsequently approved by council.
Councillor Jan Mackillican mentioned the length of the variance report, and wanted to find out how to preclude a similar lengthy report from happening again.
Tisdale attributed it to mostly clerical error, some of it being things not put into the budget to begin with. She mentioned things like the $36,300 COVID-19 payment from the Phase 1 Safe Restart for COVID-19 supplies in the Emergency Measure Account, which was additional funding not budgeted for, and resulting in a sizeable variance in the report.
She felt that overall if they pay attention throughout the year and make any necessary changes as they happen, they won’t have a repeat of such a lengthy quarterly report again, and can avoid having any sizeable variances in further reports.
Another example of an unforeseen expenditure that wasn’t budgeted for and accounted for a sizeable variance was a charge for $19,392.94, that Tisdale says were mostly for legal costs related to the engineering and planning of Limerick Lake Estates. They were charges from Jewel Engineering with regard to the development. No money was budgeted for this in 2020 so there was a large variance in this category as a result.
“Some of these costs will be recovered through agreements with the contractors and engineers. This was not one charge, but an accumulation of charges throughout the year,” she says.
A third example was with the Downtown Revitalization Fund account, which had a budget of $37,951.61 from last year, and the budget for 2020 was $500. Funds were not entirely spent in 2019 so there was $4,000 carried over into this year, accounting for the variance. Some of those funds went to signage around the township and the bench in St. Ola.
Tisdale says that this was a new report that they were implementing for council so it looks a lot larger with more changes and corrections than a regular quarterly report would look.
“Overall, I think that we are doing pretty well as far as staying on budget. Going forward with the township, we will be doing regular quarterly reports to council, thus ensuring that we stay on target all year round.”
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times