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Village of Halkirk to see 2023 audit expenses double: Mayor

Village of Halkirk at sunset, May 25, 2022. (Kevin Sabo/Stettler Independent)

Halkirk’s new administration and council are getting things in the community “settled down” but there are still some hurdles ahead, according to Mayor Jan Koenraadt.

The first hurdle the village needs to cross is the 2023 audit.

According to Koenraadt, due to a discrepancy between the bookkeeping done by the village’s previous chief administrative officer (CAO) and the new staff, auditors have been unable to “get it all balanced.”

Koenraadt says that part of the problem comes down to the previous CAO tracking the village expenses in Quickbooks whereas the Village of Halkirk has traditionally used MuniWare, software specifically made for municipalities.

“It’s a big sorting process,” said Koenraadt.

“We’re working hard to get it sorted out.”

While the audit was supposed to be concluded already, the village has requested a six-month extension so that auditors can get their work done.

Unfortunately, the extension and the work of the auditors are going to come with a price.

Where an audit for the village normally costs around $9,000, according to Koenraadt the 2023 audit is now projected to cost around $20,000.

“This has nothing to do with the council or staff we have now,” saidKoenraadt.

“We’re trying to start fresh. Things are progressing.”

Koenraadt continued that the village council recently met with the Alberta minister of Municipal Affairs, Ric McIver, to discuss the next steps and the future of the village.

According to Koenraadt, the focus right now is looking at how the village “can stay a village.”

He notes that there is lots of work to be done, and not everything can be fixed right away.

“We have a good relationship with the county,” said Koenraadt.

“We’re not folding.”

Koenraadt noted that while there are no immediate plans for the village to fold into the county, it could be an option sometime in the future, but regardless, Halkirk will remain its own entity.

“It comes down to who pays the bills,” said Koenraadt.

While the village has a six-month extension, Koenraadt feels that the audit should be done well before that deadline.

Kevin Sabo

About the Author: Kevin Sabo

I’m Kevin Sabo. I’ve been a resident of the Castor area for the last 12 years and counting, first coming out here in my previous career as an EMT.
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