KEARNEY – The Town of Kearney has discovered a $615,000 budget error.
“Council would like to advise the public that changes to the 2012 Budget passed Dec. 16, 2011 under bylaw 2011-83 were necessary due to a $615,000 imbalance in the computerized (process) used to prepare the budget,” reads a communiqué issued by Town staff on May 15. “This form lists amounts transferred from reserves as sources of revenue. These amounts, as well as the use of parkland and gas tax funds, were inadvertently counted twice as sources of revenue.”
The error came to light in a review by a financial consultant hired by the town during a budget committee meeting on May 11.
Currently, the town is between treasurers.
In a message to the Almaguin News before the release of the ‘Notice of Amendments to the 2012 Budget,’ Mayor Paul Tomlinson stated, “The problem has been solved and it will not affect the taxpayers of the town and our reserves remain strong.”
The issue of the imbalance was brought into question at a recent council meeting by former mayor Jeff Johnston, who asked why $2.2 million was being transferred out of reserves to balance the 2012 budget.
“The funding imbalance was corrected primarily by reducing current year transfers to reserves that had been authorized in the original 2012 budget. At the same time, the budget has been amended to incorporate additional information regarding specific revenue and expenditure items that was not available at the time the original budget was passed on Dec. 16, 2011,” the document states.
As Tomlinson had stated, the document confirms that the revised budget, to be approved at the June 15 council meeting, will not change the amount of property taxes for municipal purposes and will not impact the phases three and four of the Highway 518 construction as well as work on the Higgins Road culvert.
The revised budget will reflect updates to operating revenue and expenditures using current information.
“Revenue exceeds expenditures by some $235,000, which will be used to fund the capital projects mention above,” the town statement reads. “The balance of our capital funding will come from reserves. Reserves are to be used exactly for that purpose – unforeseen events such as this. Our reserve balances remain strong and should approximate $860,000 by year end 2012.”