Despite the turmoil of losing the Bowater Mersey mill, the Region of Queens' finances finished with a surplus.
On Aug. 27 Raymond Yuill Chartered Accountants gave a report on the Region's finances. The Region of Queens ended the 2012/2013 with a surplus of $241,171.
Mayor Christopher Clarke said it was very gratifying to see the Region on an even keel, though the present council has only dealt with half a year's worth of budget numbers.
"It means by and large we are doing well," he said
The surplus goes into a reserve fund, which now totals around $947,000. Mayor Clarke said it is important to build reserve funds because, "You have much more flexibility in how you can participate in capital projects."
One of the major reasons for the surplus was because of contaminated soil. An influx meant a higher than expected income of around $251,000. Garbage collection was also double what was expected, by around $54,000, as the Environmental Health Services had a larger than expected need.
Queens Place was over budget, due to higher than expected power costs, by $137,000.
Mayor Clarke says they are still figuring out the costs of the facility, and that electricity rates were causing the most difficulty.
Part of his campaign pledge was to make sure Queens Place gives value for the money paid by taxpayers, and he thinks it is starting to show some of that value.
He cited the Hank Snow Tribute as an example, with around 2,000 people attending and most from out of the community.
"It's starting to give value for money. The fact that it is not just a sports centre, and that's very important," he said.
Mayor Clarke added they are creating a "yard stick" that will show the impact of events such as this in the community.
The recreation budget was under budget overall however, because of how the repayment to Queens Place loans was structured. Originally $347,000 was budgeted for interest and principal repayments, but only $76,000 was required for the 2012-2013 year.
The airport in Greenfield cost an additional $10,000 to the budget, slightly more than double what was actually budgeted. This was because brush needed to be cleared and some patching to the runway was required.
Mayor Clarke says sometime in the future, when the airport license comes due, he would like to have a discussion on the future as an airport. He says it isn't so much of a tax burden now, but it was when he was first mayor from 1996-2000. It may not have value as an airport in the future, though without the designation it could still serve as a drag strip.
Other items included increased revenue from the deed transfer tax of around $40,000. This is based on the number of properties sold in Queens County, which ended up higher than expected.
It was also noted revenue from the water utility was down by $16,000, attributed to business closures and less consumption from Mersey Seafoods.