Minden Hills accrues huge surplus for 2018
The Township of Minden Hills has accrued a very large surplus for 2018, one totalling almost $700,000.
That represents 8.75 per cent of the township’s 2018 tax levy, or 4.2 per cent of all budgeted expenses.
Councillors received a report on the surplus from treasurer and chief administrative officer Lorrie Blanchard during an April 11 committee-of-the-whole meeting.
“We’re looking at a significant surplus for 2018,” Blanchard said. “I sort of presented it to council in various ways, so you can kind of see where the surpluses are coming from.”
Much of the surplus, 54 per cent, comes from unfilled staffing positions.
“A good, good portion of the surplus relates to staffing,” Blanchard said. “Honestly, that just boils down to a challenge in filling positions.”
The township had trouble filling a number of positions last year, particularly part-time, seasonal and student positions within the community services department.
“When you have staffing shortages, that just extrapolates out into an inability to do projects you had budgeted for,” Blanchard said.
A staff report on ways council might choose to spend the money, along with more than $540,000 in one-time funding it is receiving from the province, will come back to the council table. Early in the 2019 budget process, council deferred $1 million worth of roads projects to 2020 budget discussions, including a $400,000 refurbishment of the Sunnybrook Bridge in downtown Minden. It is likely that much of the surplus will be allotted to roads and landfill projects.
“The needs for this money to go to . . . it’s not lacking,” said Mayor Brent Devolin.
The Minden Hills surplus for 2017 was just less than $50,000; in 2016 more than $420,000; and in 2015, approximately $690,000.