First, hats off to Mr. Bolt for enduring such a long time perusing the 2017 budget.
It took me about the same amount of time to get the kink out of my neck and I only
was looking at Harbour Stats. A terrible format presented on Central Elgin.org.
Secondly I am not a CPA nor "book keeper"; but some numbers listed in approved and
actual for 2016 are questionable for which I did ask about to an individual in Central
Elgin Financial Department; but more about that later.
In the Harbour Operations Gross Expenditures 2016 it states "Approved $97,808.00"
Actual $170,392.00 ( Almost double). Under Gross Budget Revenue - Transfer from
Contribution Interest " Approved $81,512.00 Actual $155,165.00 ( Again almost double
and what is Contribution Interest?). Under Proposed Capital Budget- Dredging/Dredge
Cell Establishment 2016 Approved $240,000.00 Actual $1,531,250.00 ( 5 times the
approved amount and $1,824,963 was spent in 2015 in the same category). Now the
last category I'll exhibit, Proposed Harbour Operating Budget - Consulting- 2016
Approved $50,785.00 Actual $125,805.00 As you can see all examples are well over
their "Approved amounts for 2016".
My initial question to the Finance Department was regarding "consulting cost" which
was partially explained, that it could contain some Capital Expenditures. Upon further
questions I was told that the numbers are not final pending an audit of 2016 that
should be completed this May. I was asked to leave my info and that I would be contacted
once the audit is complete; which I did. * Note* Approved Consulting cost for 2017
is $79,023.00 ( $28,238.00 over approved 2016)
I guess what irks me is the 2016 "over budgeted" items I presented and can't help
but think what 2017 will cost? Focussing on Consulting, past and approved 2017,
I believe that estimated costs involving Harbour Improvements as suggested by a
consulting firm would be included in their proposal. An article in the Friday March
10th edition of the Lake Erie Beacon regarding Port Stanley Harbour Secondary Plan
states that the firm that was awarded the contract for the Central Elgin Official
Plan in 2012 is the same that has been awarded the new contract for the Secondary
Respectfully and Without Prejudice,