CORNER BROOK— The City of Corner Brook spent more money providing services like snowclearing, waste removal and water in 2019, but Coun. Bernd Staeben said the city’s audited financial statements for the year still indicate it was a good one.
Council voted during Monday’s public meeting held via Zoom and aired live on Facebook to approve the 2019 audited financial statements prepared by BDO Canada.
The request for decision presented by Staeben said BDO Canada’s opinion is that the consolidated financial statements it audited present fairly, in all material aspects, the financial position of the city as of Dec. 31, 2019.
Staeben is the chair of the finance committee, which reviewed the auditor’s report last week.
In presenting some highlights from it, Staeben drew council’s attention to the public-works section of the consolidated schedule of expenses.
“These are all some extra costs that we provide to our residents,” he said adding they are very important.
Snowclearing expenses for 2019 came in at approximately $2.3 million. Staeben said that was a lot higher than what the city budgeted even though it was closer to the actual expenditure of 2018.
Street maintenance cost the city $1.3 million in 2019 as compared to just over $1 million in 2018. Sanitation and waste-removal costs climbed from just over $1.1 million in 2018 to $1.4 million in 2019. And the city spent also $150,000 more on water and wastewater in 2019 than it did in 2018.
Staeben said that totals close to $800,000.
“There are a lot of expenses that we overachieved and that we did well on and our revenue is maintained to be consistent and I think the approval from our auditors (is) saying that 2019 has been a great year. Even though we spent extra money, we did well for the year. We did have minor shortfall, but nothing that we couldn’t handle.”
Staeben thanked city staff for their work, a sentiment that Mayor Jim Parsons echoed by saying the staff do a great job making sure the city is taking a very responsible approach.
“It takes a lot of work keeping this operation, which is a very diverse and complex operation, keep the water flowing, and the sewer flowing, and the roads paved, and our recreation department, our civic centre, all these things going in an orderly manner.”
He said the auditor’s statement reflects the city is doing what it should be doing.
“And we have a very high standard of financial accountability here at the city.”