Mayor’s Annual Financial Report: 2013-2014

2015-01-06

Presented by Mayor William Steinberg at the November 3, 2014 Town Council meeting

In compliance with Article 474.1 of the Cities and Towns Act it is my pleasure to present the annual report on the financial situation of the Town of Hampstead. This report includes:

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2013 FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

The financial statements for 2013 were audited by the Town’s external auditors “Goudreau Poirier”, who confirmed that these portrayed, in all important aspects, a true picture of the financial situation of the municipality for the fiscal year ended December 31st, 2013. Their report was tabled at the Regular Meeting of the Town Council held on Monday, July 7, 2014.

Unrestricted operating surplus

Per the 2013 Financial Statements, the operational surplus for the fiscal year was $885.6 thousand.

This amount was added to the previous accumulated surplus of $4.425M from which the following was appropriated:

  • $895 thousand for capital asset activities;
  • $862 thousand to clear the capital portion of debt for BL 770 at its refinancing;
  • $450 thousand for a four-year tree replacement program due to the ash borer;
  • $320 thousand for white collar pay equity;
  • $70 thousand for the firemen’s pension transfer out of Hampstead’s plan;
  • $53 thousand for the 2013 elections;
  • $50 thousand set aside for the Centennial committee.


Adding to this the closing balance of the Town’s working fund of $153.6 thousand, the overall accumulated surplus was $2.764M.

Long-term debt

At the end of 2013 the Town of Hampstead’s debt stood at $12.080 M.  From this amount a debt figure of $10.875 M results when we net out the grants to be received for certain projects. The table below provides estimated payments on long-term debt.

Estimated payments on long-term debt:

MATURITY AMOUNT
2014 776,600
2015 806,400
2016 837,300
2017 833,300
2018 812,400
2019 and + 8,014,300
TOTAL $12,080,000
GRANTS TO BE RECEIVED (1,205,200)
TOTAL NET LONG-TERM DEBT $10,874,800
Note: The numbers are based on the 2013 financial statements as of December 31, 2013. In fact, due to a further pay down of capital in 2014, the future payments are expected to be lower than shown in the table.
 

Capital expenditures

As the restoration of our infrastructure remains one of the top priorities, capital expenditures in 2013 totalled $1.809 M and spanned a variety of different projects, mainly infrastructure rehabilitation (water mains, roads and parks). The table below provides details of 2013 capital expenditures.

CATEGORY PROJECT 2013
Information technology Hardware - computers & server 79,816
Municipal
installations
Town Hall & Community Centre renovations
Office Furniture

105,733
3,822

Infrastructure
rehabilitation
Water distribution network
Park, Playgrounds & Skating rink
Roads & sidewalks
892,750
167,155
366,250
Vehicles and
equipment
 
Tools, Machinery & Equipment
Vehicles Pick-up / PW Van / 10 Wheel Truck
75,521
118,143
  CAPITAL INVESTMENTS 1,809,190

Pension deficit

Pursuant to an updated actuarial evaluation of the Town’s pension plan, an additional voluntary contribution of $52 thousand was made over and above the $123 thousand minimum contribution required by law, to cover the deficit position.

Overall, the 2013 financial results indicate that the Town has fulfilled its commitments with respect to the budget adopted and finished the year with an operating surplus of $886 thousand, and this, with the local tax increase below inflation at 1.0% for the average single-family home.


THREE-YEAR PROGRAM OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES

The principal investments planned in the current three-year capital expenditures program reflect our desire for a diverse and vibrant development of the Town. The projects for 2014 are nearing completion with some final work extending into the coming fiscal year. The orientations for the 2015 – 2017 capital expenditures program are being formulated.

This year, Hampstead has continued the infrastructure renewal program, focussing on road and sidewalk rehabilitation as well as park and playground improvements. Added to this was the beginning of a large vehicle replacement program. Financing for these projects came mainly from accumulated surplus.

As in past years, a constant rejuvenation of our vehicle fleet, roads and street lights, park facilities, computer hardware/ software as well as various machinery and equipment allow for an enhanced efficiency of operations.

In summary, we will continue to focus on our longer-term plan to recover and build a renewed infrastructure while ensuring that our Town is kept clean, attractive and safe.
 

PRELIMINARY INFORMATION REGARDING THE FINANCIAL SITUATION FOR 2014

We continue to keep close control over our expenses while maintaining the quality of services offered to, and expected by, Hampstead residents. Of equal importance, we continue to prioritize open and frequent communication to ensure that our residents are informed and involved in our many Town initiatives.

We expect that revenues for the year 2014 will be in line with those budgeted. Regarding the expenses we forecast savings on:

  • Legal fees and professional studies
  • Wages saved per absence of Assistant-Treasurer and Town Clerk for several months
  • Lower mandatory pension deficit contributions subsequent to a new actuarial evaluation
  • Lower water purchase costs due to decreasing consumption

It should be noted that a $1M windfall resulted on account of a non-compliance penalty received per the failure to have started construction on the Macdonald street condo high-rise.

A surplus appropriation in the amount of $100 thousand was set aside for the Centennial celebrations. Also, a further appropriation is expected to cover capital expenditures incurred not covered under the operational budget.


GENERAL ORIENTATION FOR 2015  BUDGET

The Director General of the Town in cooperation with Council and upper management is actively preparing the 2015 budget based on identified needs while keeping under consideration our residents’ limited capacity for tax increases. The coming budget will concentrate on historically demonstrated requirements and the credit allocations will be in sync with objectives and key results expected from each department.

We will take advantage of this opportunity to review and assess requests addressed to the Town Council by residents in order to improve the quality of life in the community. As in the past, our objective is not only to maintain that which has been acquired but to go one better in response to current financial and environmental realities. The final results will subsequently be presented to you during a special meeting in December where the budget forecast for 2015 and the next three-year capital expenditures program will be discussed.

We will take into consideration all necessary priorities and needs not only to ensure a sustainable and beneficial development but to promote an enviable quality of life for our residents while controlling tax increases. Nonetheless, a challenge we are still faced with in the upcoming year is to manage price hikes occurring in such areas as the employee pension plan deficit, dumpsite charges for Town materials, fuel requirements, and to a diminishing extent legal claims due to water main breaks.
 

REMUNERATION OF ELECTED OFFICERS

As members of the Town Council, an annual remuneration plus an annual allowance for expenses related to these functions is received. This remuneration is in accordance with the provisions of the Act respecting the remuneration of elected municipal officers.

The table below provides details on the 2014 remuneration and allowances.

Title

Town
Remuneration

Town
Expense
Allowance

Agglomeration
Remuneration

Public
Security
Commission
Remuneration
(Note 1)

Mayor $39,111 $15,787 $10,847 $10,847
Councillors (6) $12,162 $6,081    
Note 1: Maximum remuneration to be received should all meetings be attended in the current year.
 

LIST OF ALL CONTRACTS INVOLVING AN EXPENDITURE EXCEEDING $25,000

In accordance with the law, we have deposited with the Public Affairs and Registry Department the list of all contracts involving expenditures of more than $ 2,000 concluded during the period from November 2013 to October 2014, with the same contractor when all these contracts include a total cost exceeding $ 25,000. This list shows for each contract, the name of each contractor, the purpose of the contract and the amount of consideration.

To view this list, please click here.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

As shown in this report the financial health of the town is excellent. While we face some financial challenges as we enter 2015, I remain confident that we will keep local tax increases below inflation as we have for the past seven years. However, we will have to be extra vigilant and scrutinize all expenditures carefully in order to secure the quality of services and the sound management of public funds rightfully expected by our residents.

In order to increase knowledge of and accessibility to municipal management, we are continuing to develop our communication tools and approaches. Please rest assured that we will spare no effort to ensure that Hampstead remains a peaceful, happy, healthy, and safe community. Let us continue to build a better tomorrow, together. Your councillors and I sincerely thank you for your support.

And last but not least, the success of this Town is built on the contributions and hard work of its employees. I take this opportunity to emphasize the work of all our Town employees, the able employees at Town Hall, the blue collars who maintain our streets, the Recreation staff for our programs, and our Public Security Agents who keep our Town safe. I thank them all for making Hampstead the wonderful community that we enjoy so much.


DOCUMENTS FOR DOWNLOAD

To view the report in its entirety, please click here.

If you have any comments or questions on this topic or anything else related to Hampstead, please e-mail me at wsteinberg@hampstead.qc.ca or call me 7 days a week until midnight at my home office (514) 483-6954.


Sincerely,


Dr. Bill Steinberg
Mayor, Town of Hampstead