There was a slight drop in seasonal camping revenues from Sunnyside Campground this year

There was a slight drop in seasonal camping revenues from Sunnyside Campground this year

Cultus Lake Park Board posts $1 million surplus

A net surplus of more than a million dollars is being reported by Cultus Lake Park Board officials for the first six months of 2011.

A net surplus of more than a million dollars is being reported by Cultus Lake Park Board officials for the first six months of 2011.

Financial highlights also included an increase to reserves, which now totals $2.48 million, above the $1.82 million mark from the previous year.

“Those two points show we’re proceeding nearly on budget and well on our way to restoring financial sustainability,” said park board chair Sacha Peter.

It’s a slow process, he acknowledged, but they’re steadily making progress, and building up fiscal reserves to a “more comfortable level.”

The highlights were from a “financial snapshot” of the budget, Peter said.

Park board commissioners decided in April they no longer had the resources to provide monthly financial statements, which became an issue of concern to some leaseholders who were asking for more accountability and transparency.

Spending outpaced revenues by the park board in most years up to 2007. The changes started in 2009 when the park board hit a financial wall after servicing 14 residential lots, which were never sold.

They ended up turning a deficit into a small surplus, and in 2010 they increased campground and lease fees and shut down all non-critical spending.

Reserve funds were also completely depleted, so efforts were made to restore them. A total of $75 per residential lease is going toward the effort to rebuilt reserves.

“Staff continues to identify areas where further savings can be realized,” Peter said.

There was a slight drop in seasonal camping revenues from Sunnyside Campground this year, the park board’s largest single source of revenue.

“We’ve been able to recoup a good portion of those revenues since some of those lots can be used for full RV hookups,” Peter said. “Some of the seasonal spots have been released or sold on a pro-rated basis.”

Efforts are being made to get interested individuals to run for park board commissioner positions in the upcoming elections.

“I am delighted with these financial results, but I have to ask how do they know?” said leaseholder Rick Williamson after seeing the CLPB press release. “What are they basing this on?”

His big question was if the park board is no longer producing reliable monthly statements and is relying on audited year-end statements, can the quarterly snapshot and/or the recently released figures be considered accurate?

“I hope they can, but I have to wonder,” he said.

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