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Community near Sudbury is short $3M in reserve funds


Residents of Markstay-Warren, a community just east of Sudbury, were brought up to speed on their municipality’s financial situation during a special council meeting Thursday evening.

Pamela McCracken, the community’s treasurer, walked the crowd through the numbers and why there’s a discrepancy between how much money they should have -- and what they actually have.

“We’re not broke,” McCracken told the 100 people gathered for the meeting, assuring them the municipality can pay its bills.

That after an annual audit showed there should be $5.4 million in reserve funds, but there’s only $2.4 million in actual cash and investments.

“What we don’t have are the saving that we thought we had,” McCracken said.

“That doesn’t mean we’re broke. We have operating (funds). It’s just going to take us time to refill our savings accounts.”

The treasurer then went over some of the reasons for the shortfall, things like penalties, unpaid taxes, lawsuits and having to return grants. The presentation also said some reserve money was spent to pay operating expenses.

Mayor Steven Olsen said there's more than $1.5 million owed in taxes from property owners in the community. (Photo from video)

There was also a plan on how the community would move forward, including contacting more than 100 property owners currently in tax arrears.

“That was one of the big issues,” said Mayor Steven Olsen.

“There’s over $1.5 million owed in taxes. So that makes a big contribution to the difference from over $5 million to $2 million.”

Those in the audience were unhappy council did not allow for questions afterwards, but instead directed people to submit their queries online.

“How much of the reserve funds were in a bank account?” wondered resident Maurice Turcot.

“They claim that the reserves are $5 million, a little over $5 million, but we never got a true figure. Is it $2 million? Is it $3 million, is it four?”

The municipality plans to have a forensic audit conducted to find out exactly where money is, where it went and what the correct figures are now. Top Stories

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