At a Special Council meeting last night the Town of Prescott were given the results of an audit on the 2016 budget.
The audit was delivered by the town’s auditor Howard Allan of Allan and Partners LLP. The auditor’s job is to provide an unbiased, outsider perspective of finances. Allan’s presentation focused on the town’s long term financial stability, while paying close attention to the town’s debt.
Allan praised Town of Prescott Treasurer Mathew Armstrong for preparing the town’s financial statements, which was a first since he had started as the town auditor. The auditor pointed out that the town’s net debt had increased by $127,000 but called this reasonable because of how much the town spent on major projects during 2016. Long term debt payment has been decreasing steadily over the past five years which was also suggested to be an encouraging trend.
Allan’s only real suggestion for the town was creating a long term financial plan, something Armstrong has been putting together slowly but surely. Mayor Brett Todd asked for an expert’s opinion on the town’s debt load and Allan explained that not all debt is bad. Building infrastructure will also build the town’s debt but government grants are often given to towns and municipalities that show a willingness to spend.
Allan finished his presentation by saying he was impressed with the town’s growth and financial management and that concerns were being addressed in a timely fashion. He, Mayor Todd and Councillor Teresa Jansman all took time to praise Armstrong’s hard work.