It may seem counterintuitive given the circumstances of the past year, but 2020 was a very good one for the Village of Telkwa financially.
That is the conclusion of the village’s auditor.
Al McCreary of Edmison Mehr Chartered Professional Accountants delivered Telkwa’s Consolidated Financial Statements to council at its regular meeting April 13.
The bottom line, McCreary reported is the village had an accumulated surplus of $22.8 million as of the end of 2020 and $2 million cash in the bank.
McCreary noted Telkwa was one of the many communities, mostly smaller ones that do not provide major services such as an airport or arena, that actually benefited from COVID-19 funding. Smithers, for example, was hit hard by losses of revenue including a $975,000 shortfall for the airport.
“The village has never been in better shape, financially,” he said.
The cash-on-hand is largely a result of the unspent portion of the Village’s Northern Capital and Planning grant received in 2019 from the Province, McCreary told council.
Council has adopted a bylaw to close a portion of a highway right of way between First and Second Streets.
Earlier in the regular meeting April 13 approved an amendment to change the wording in a bylaw to extend the area covered by the closure further to the north.
The reason for the original closure is the Village has a party interested in purchasing a portion of the land through which the right of way passes.
Following passage of first and second readings of the bylaw in March, staff recognized the additional section of the right of way not included in the subject parcel, also has potential uses hampered by the highway dedication.
“It will just give us some more options for that land in the future,” explained Lev Hartfeil, director of operations.
In a report to council, Hartfeil noted the owners of the land adjacent to the additional portion of right of way have expressed interest in purchasing the land.