Charlottetown financial statements reveal $11.2M surplus

The City of Charlottetown has released its consolidated financial statements for 2017, which show a surplus of $11.2 million.

Finance chair Melissa Hilton presented the documents during Tuesday's council meeting

Charlottetown's 2017 financial statements show an $11.2 million surplus. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

The City of Charlottetown has released its consolidated financial statements for 2017, which show a surplus of $11.2 million. 

The surplus comes two years after the city went $3 million over budget — largely due to snow clearing expenses in 2015.

"We really buckled down, and we made sure that we were responsible with our spending,"  said Coun. Melissa Hilton, chair of the city's finance committee. 

Statements released later than usual

The financial statements were released later than in the previous year. The statements for 2016 were released in June 2017.

Hilton said part of the reason for the delay is that the city is currently working with a 15-month budget — something all municipalities must do in order to have the fiscal year coincide with that of the province going forward. 

Melissa Hilton says working with a new accounting firm was part of the reason the consolidated financial statements were released later in the year. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

"That of course takes things into consideration. But also the fact that we do have new accountants, and just meeting our standards," Hilton said.  

"So, making sure that everything is up to snuff and accurate. And going forward, it will be a smoother ride for those in city hall and also our accountants."

City continues to deal with debt

The financial statements show that the city continues to carry debt totalling about $98 million. 

Hilton said the incoming council will have to have a fiscally responsible outlook. 

"We have incredible staff that will lead them in the right direction as well, and you know, maybe we'll go back to a debt reduction strategy as well," Hilton said. 

Tuesday evening's council meeting marked the final meeting of the current council, and Hilton's last meeting as a councillor. The newly elected council will be sworn in next month. 

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Sarah MacMillan

Sarah MacMillan is a journalist with CBC P.E.I.