The Town of Golden’s financial auditor, Dave Adams of Adams Wooley (currently in its second year of a three-year contract), went over the municipality’s finances for 2012, and found both positives and negatives in the books.
One of the indicators Adams pointed at to measure the Town’s financial health, was Net Financial Assets, which he describes as the “bottom line.”
In 2010 the Town’s Net Financial Assets were $141,000, which the dropped in 2011 to -$1.7 million. In 2012 Golden reduced that negative to -$700,000.
“There is an explanation for the drop, essentially it was the Civic Centre that pulled a lot of those financial resources out. So in 2012, we’re actually moving, and starting to climb back out of the trap at this point. We’re getting to the point where we’re recovering from the Civic Centre renovation,” said Adams.
“That’s the way it goes with a municipality. Sometimes, as much as you want funding to fall in place for a certain project, it’s just not there. So you just have to bite the bullet and make it happen.”
Golden is recovering from the large expenditures they incurred in the last few years (the 12th Street project also depleted the Town’s financial assets), as it has halved its Net Financial Debt. But Adams still stressed how important it is to bring the municipality back into a positive number.
“The thing about the financial assets, is they are what support the Town’s capital assets. And right now you’ve got $62 million in tangible capital assets that require continual repair and maintenance,” he said.
“So when you have negative financial assets, there’s no resources available to look after those tangible capital assets. So it’s important to work those net financial assets up to a positive figure.”
Having said that, Adams was very positive about the state of the Town’s reserve funds.
“You do have sufficient reserve balances, the reserves are actually looking really good,” he said.