Municipality of Pictou County ends past fiscal year with a surplus

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PICTOU, NS – It has been another year in the black for the Municipality of Pictou County.

Council approved its 2018-2019 financial statements, which showed the general operating fund ending the fiscal year with a surplus of $449,240.

“The County is in a healthy fiscal position that has come from years of watching the numbers very closely by our staff, council, and councils before us,” said Municipality of Pictou County Warden Robert Parker.

The Municipality of Pictou County collected $19 million in taxes from residents and businesses, but $5 million of that sum automatically goes to provincial services such as corrections, education, and the regional housing authority.

The remaining $14 million in collected taxes goes towards paying for services and capital projects. Other revenue sources come from grants in lieu of taxes and transfers from governments for a total accumulation of $15.4 million in revenue for 2018-2019.

The Municipality of Pictou County’s most significant expenditures for the past fiscal year continues to be protective services that cover police and fire services with a price tag of $6.3 million. Total spending in the general operating fund came in at $13.2 million.

“It is good news when you have a financial report like this,” said Warden Parker. “Not only do we have a surplus in our general operating fund, but our reserves are up by $800,000. “
Warden Parker said that built up funds in reserve allows the Municipality to invest it is a rural broadband project this year that will see high-speed internet available to all homes in Pictou County in the next few years.

He also pointed out the reserve was built up despite the ongoing capital work that took place in the Municipality in the past few years. For example, water and sewer projects have been completed in Plymouth, MacLellan’s Brook, Abercrombie, and Greenhill,

while sidewalks were also built in various areas of the County.

“ It is good news when you can have a financial report like last night, and it shows in the numbers where our reserve funds are up and that we can remind people that we did a lot of work in that year as well,” he said. “We accomplished a fair amount in infrastructure.”

Council was also able to repay its loan of $2 million from its reserves for its new administration building this past year.

“We borrowed money from ourselves and made payments each year,” he said. “It is important that we kept this commitment and paid it off within the 10-year time frame. “

Warden Parker said he was also pleased to see the County’s contribution to the Pictou County Wellness Centre decrease by $80,000 in the past fiscal year, and its board of directors is continuing to look for ways to reduce daily operating costs in the future.