Mayor’s Annual Financial Report: 2015-2016

Presented by Mayor William Steinberg at the November 7, 2016, 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 AUDITED 2015 FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Unrestricted operating surplus

Per the 2015 Financial Statements, the operational surplus for the fiscal year was $1.630M.

This amount was added to the previous accumulated surplus of $4.110M. After putting aside about $2M in various reserve funds and other adjustments, the overall unrestricted operating surplus was $3.825M which is very healthy.

Long-term debt

At the end of 2015 the Town of Hampstead’s debt stood at $9.704M (2014 = $10.442M).  From this amount a debt figure of $8.745M (2014 = $9.331M) results when we net out the grants to be received for certain projects. The table below provides estimated capital payments on long-term debt. Hampstead’s debt service ratio of 9.53% has been steadily dropping since 2009.

Estimated payments on long-term debt:

MATURITY $
2016 765 500
2017 758 300
2018 733 900
2019 761 600
2020 789 800
2021 and + 5,894 800
TOTAL 9,703,900
GRANTS TO BE RECEIVED (958,744)
TOTAL NET LONG-TERM DEBT 8,745,156

Note: The numbers are based on the 2015 financial statements as of December 31, 2015. In fact, due to an accelerated pay down of capital in 2017, 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 2015 totalled $1.180M and spanned a variety of different projects, mainly for infrastructure rehabilitation (roads and sidewalks, enhancements of Applewood Park, walking path rehabilitation at Cressy Park). The table below provides details of the 2015 capital expenditures.

Summary of 2015 capital expenditures

CATEGORY PROJECT AMOUNT
Information tech. & Furnitures Hardware- computers & server; Furnitures 39 490
Municipal installations Town Hall, CSR & PW building renovations 90 788
Infrastructure rehabilitation Water distribution network  
  Parks & green areas 241 241
  Roads & sidewalks 292 766
Vehicles and equipment Tools, machinery & equipment 113 709
  Vehicles 402 337
  CAPITAL INVESTMENTS 1 180 331

Overall, the 2015 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 $1.630M, and this, with the local tax increase below inflation at 1.8% 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 2016 are nearing completion with some final work extending into the coming fiscal year. The orientations for the 2017-2018-2019 capital expenditures program are being formulated.

This year, Hampstead has continued the infrastructure renewal program, focussing on roads, sidewalks and sewer rehabilitation, as well as, an Aldred Park beautification project. Added to this was the continuation of our large vehicle replacement program. Financing for these projects came principally from grants and accumulated surplus.

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

In summary, we will continue to focus on our long 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 2016

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.

With respect to revenues for the year 2016, we expect gains from:
- A non-compliance penalty from the fire station site developers
- An increase in the number of building permits issued
- An increase in Welcome Tax revenues

Regarding the expenses we forecast savings on:

- Legal fees, professional studies and claims
- Hockey cost and temporary staff (administration and day camp)
- The cost of renting a warehouse for equipment
 

GENERAL ORIENTATION FOR 2017  BUDGET

The Director General of the Town in cooperation with Council and upper management is actively preparing the 2017 budget based on identified needs while keeping under consideration our goal of keeping local tax increases below expected inflation.

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 all that we have accomplished since demerger in 2006 but to go one better and keep improving our enviable lifestyle in Hampstead. The final results of our planning will be presented to you during a special meeting in December where the budget forecast for 2017 and the next three-year capital expenditures program will be discussed.


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 2016 remuneration and allowances.

2016 Remuneration of elected officers

Title Town Remuneration

Town Expense
Allowance
non-taxable

Agglomeration
Remuneration

Mayor $ 44,684 $16,216 $11,120
Councillors (6) $ 13,534 $ 6,767  

  
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 2015 to October 2016, 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 the 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 2017, I remain confident that we will keep local tax increases below inflation as we have for the past nine 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 and parks, 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.

Dr. William Steinberg
Mayor, Town of Hampstead

DOCUMENTS FOR DOWNLOAD

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