District of Lake Country councillor Penny Gambell. (File photo)

District of Lake Country councillor Penny Gambell. (File photo)

Lake Country councillor questions reserve funds

‘It looks like a slush fund’

Lake Country councillor Pam Gambell has concerns about how some of the district’s budget reserve funds are being handled.

Gambell said she counted 22 reserves in going over the 2021 surplus allocation presented by staff. Of specific concern to Gambell were the future capital expenditure and future servicing work reserves, amounting to nearly $1.5 million. She questioned why some of that money isn’t in other reserves that need it.

“It looks like a slush fund,” said Gambell. “If I were reading somebody else’s finance books I’d be saying that. I like the idea of a reserve, but let’s put it where it should be.”

One of the areas Gambell said the money should go is parkland acquisition, as she felt the current reserve amount was too low. Chief Administrative Officer Tanya Garost told council that staff has been working to put enough money aside to look after existing parkland.

“The district must put money into the parkland acquisition fund when parkland is sold,” she said. “However, council can certainly contemplate additional transfer to that reserve in future budgets. I would suggest we do need to make sure that we have enough put away for what we already have. We have used our general surplus in recent years to acquire some properties.”

Gambell also felt there wasn’t enough money in the transit reserve.

“We want to improve and expand transit. We’ve got a very low amount there, $91,000. I’m questioning that. I don’t think it fits with what we want to do for our community.”

Councillors Cara Reed and Todd McKenzie noted an information session by staff to council would be helpful regarding reserve allocations.

Read More: More efficient transit service wanted in Lake Country


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