The city of Williams Lake’s long-term debt sits at $8,324,241, down from $9,307,122 in 2019.
During the regular meeting Tuesday, April 13, city council received and approved the 2020 annual financial statements and report prepared by MNP LLP in Williams Lake.
Mayor Walt Cobb praised the financial department staff for its due diligence, saying it has not been easy.
“They have had to make some changes and do business a little differently to get us to this place.”
By the end of 2021, debt should be sitting at $7.4 million, said Coun. Scott Nelson, finance committee chair.
“This council has been very aggressive and staff has been very, very aggressive about getting grants. Eighteen per cent of our last year’s budget included grants — just about $6 million.”
Kane Fraser with MNP Chartered Professional Accounts appeared as a delegation and said the city’s finances met Canadian public sector accounting standards.
“That’s ideal,” he said.
Last year’s flooding in the river valley impacted the city’s financial assets considerably, shown in the accounts receivable line.
In 2020, the accounts receivable increased to $7,395,264 compared to $3,919,546 in 2019.
“That’s related to funding from Emergency Management B.C. for the project in the valley,” Fraser said of the increase.
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities also increased to $6,652,568 in 2020 compared to $2,413,705 — again due to the flooding repairs and contracts that had to be paid at the year end.
From taxation the city received $14,699,337 in 2020, up slightly from $14,548,413 in 2019, while total revenue for the city was $39,075,579 compared to $33,165,096 in 2020 — again due to funding from EMBC to the tune of $8,166,878.
Revenue decreased from airport services by $620,675 and from cultural and recreational services by $592,801.
“You can see the impacts of COVID,” Fraser added.
Fraser said the trend over time has been positive.
“It wasn’t so long ago that the financial assets of your consolidated statement of financial position which you are sitting at over $7 million now was a financial deficit of over $5 million.”
Cobb said the city will have to be very cautious with its finances.
“We will continue to keep our community as best we can with the dollars we have.”
The audited financial statements and financial information will be forwarded to the inspector of municipalities as required.
Council also approved the financial plan for 2021 to 2025, which for this year includes a zero per cent increase in taxes, sewer and water rates.