By Chad Ingram
A 2020 surplus for the Township of Minden Hills that would have totalled some $1.1 million has formally totalled just more than $106,000, with the township spending the bulk of the large, anticipated surplus on a series of public works projects.
Minden Hills councillors received a report on the surplus from finance director Lorrie Blanchard during a May 13 online meeting. As Blanchard explained, 72 per cent of the $1.1 million surplus came from wages and benefits from unfilled staffing positions in various departments, “either positions that didn’t get filled in 2020, or were much later in the year getting filled than what we had hoped.”
In the fall of last year, councillors had been informed the township was likely on track to accrue a surplus of at least $1 million, and so opted to spend much of that money on roads and culvert projects the township otherwise would have borrowed money to complete. That included nearly $500,000 for the rehabilitation of the Sunnybrook Bridge in Minden’s downtown; nearly $400,000 for the reconstruction of IGA Road; $130,000 for the emergency replacement of a culvert on Chambers Road; and some $30,000 worth of engineering and resurfacing work.
“In lieu of financing these projects through a debenture, council had decided that, knowing that we were probably going to have this significant surplus, that we were going to use these funds for those purposes,” Blanchard said.
The remaining surplus of just more than $106,000 will be placed in the township’s capital project reserve.