Pictou County Warden Robert Parker credits good financial management for creating a surplus this past fiscal year.
County councillors unanimously accepted its 2017-18 financial statements during its Nov. 5 council meeting. The County closed out its last fiscal year with a surplus of $1.3 million in its general operating budget and a $6.5-million surplus in its consolidated statements.
“Overall it is good news,” said Parker. “If you can do the amount of work that we did in the County and still put some away in the reserves and maintain the tax rate for a while, it is good news.”
The municipality collected just over $13.7 million in tax revenue in its general operating budget which was an increase of $234,645 over the previous fiscal year. The County’s two largest expenditures were protective services at $6.2 million and environmental health services at $2.4 million.
Parker said the increase in tax revenue was good to see as well as large expenditure savings that were a result of staff and council’s strong fiscal management.
He noted one major expense saving was sale of the former River John School which council had budgeted to be demolished in 2018 at a cost of $300,000 before it was sold to a Pictou County resident.
Parker also noted cooperation with other municipal units in the Pictou County Shared Services Authority has led to savings in operations at both Pictou County Solid Waste in Mount William and the East River Environmental Control Centre in New Glasgow.
“The Mount William site and the ERECC run smoothly with the six municipalities who come together under shared services,” he said.
The County is wrapping up a major water and sewer project in McLellan’s Brook-Plymouth and more capital projects are on the books for this fiscal year.
“Our staff has done a very good job of watching the lines very closely and council watches for savings,” Parker said.