Village of Ashcroft

Village of Ashcroft cash flow in ‘good position’

Tax increase for 2022 will be 2.5 per cent with no change to current utility rates

The Village of Ashcroft is in good financial shape following a year of challenges in 2021, according to the chief financial officer.

During a presentation of the 2021 Financial Report at last week’s council meeting, CFO Yogi Bhalla said that through the staff’s hard work, the Village was able to stay within budget over the course of the year.

“It’s been an interesting year but we have worked really hard to get things done despite all the challenges,” Bhalla said, citing COVID-19, wildfires, supply chain issues and escalating costs as some of the hurdles the Village had to overcome.

Bhalla noted expenditures from the general capital fund of $780,000 in 2021, accounting for things like the community garden and road maintenance as well as $1.1 million spent on water projects. He said that $575,000 had been spent from the sewer capital fund on necessary repairs and operation costs.

The Village’s cash flow is in a good position, Bhalla said, with no debt currently being held.

“Our bank balance at the end of the year is $2.3 million,” he said. “That gives us an adequate cushion, especially with upcoming projects, because the province sometimes takes some time to pay for things, sometimes months and months later.”

Bhalla said with many Village projects “in full swing,” he doesn’t anticipate the need to borrow any funds to cover the costs and is planning for potential cost overruns.

When it comes to taxation, the Village’s planned rate increase of 2.5 per cent is well below that of many other municipalities, Bhalla said, noting around the province some communities will see hikes of five per cent or higher to keep up with inflation.

“We are taking cuts to make that happen and to run more efficiently,” he said. “It’s a huge task to do that.”

Looking ahead, the Village will be focusing on succession training for some staff who are planning on retiring in the near future, Bhalla said.

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