July 3, 2019 / For Immediate Release
BRIDGEWATER, NOVA SCOTIA – The Province recently released annual Financial Condition Indicators results for 2017/18, showing that the Municipality is in strong financial health.
The indicators provide a risk‐based approach to evaluating municipalities and are presented in a house format graph. This visual focuses on key performance indicators, leading financial indicators and potential internal and external factors that could have an impact on a municipality’s financial results. The risk thresholds are coloured: yellow indicates medium risk, red indicates high risk and green, low risk. The overall financial condition risk assessment for our Municipality is green, which means that the Municipality is considered low risk for fiscal instability.
“MODL has green indicators for all categories, with the exception of budget accuracy, which is red due to budget surpluses,” said Elana Wentzell, Director of Finance. “A budget can change throughout the year when we plan for projects that may not move forward or are delayed due to funding partnership approvals, or when revenue estimates are too conservative. The surpluses are placed in reserves to ensure there are funds to help mitigate the financial impact of major, non‐recurring or unforeseen expenditures on the Municipality’s annual operating budget as well as take advantage of unexpected opportunities to leverage external funding programs.”
Based on the indicators related to municipal revenues, MODL’s general operating revenue is stable. Our assessment growth is above the Consumer Price Index indicating our tax base is able to cover increasing costs of municipal services and programs. Based on the indicators related to general operating expenses, MODL has been able to meet its needs in a balanced manner and has maintained a balanced budget. As well, we have preserved prudent debt and reserve levels while maintaining capital assets with 73% useful life remaining.
“The Municipality is in a strong financial position,” said Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “We continue to maintain our tax rate and remain on track to be debt free by 2021. As the report shows, Council continues to set aside sufficient funds to help mitigate any unforeseen risks, we are not dependent on another level of government to meet service obligations, and we have healthy reserves to help address unexpected events and provide flexibility to address future projects.”
Elana Wentzell, CPA CMA
Director of Finance
Municipality of the District of Lunenburg