News Local

Rural Representation group alleges overspending

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today


The communications director of the Ward 2 Port Hope’s citizens group, Rural Representation, says a comparison of the audited statement of Port Hope’s finances in 2014 and 2015 and a financial report ordered by a judge reveal “mismanagement” of funds by municipal council and staff.

When comparing these two financial documents, it reveals millions more dollars were spent than budgeted, Caroline Thornton said in an interview.

The citizen group’s newsletter states that the over-expenditures totalled $7.3-million more than budgeted in 2014 and $5.3-million in 2015.

The financial concerns which have been alleged came to light due to a judicial order issued at the conclusion of court case brought by Ward 2 resident and lawyer, Ian Angus, last year to confirm the status of the Low Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) Trust Fund ($10-million plus interest paid by the Federal Government over a decade ago to host a LLRW facility) and how the Municipality of Port Hope spent money which was to aid only Ward 2.

The judge agreed with that interpretation and ordered the Municipality to provide an accounting to Angus.

How the money spent, deemed not in accordance to the Trust, will be repaid, has not been detailed because the Municipality of Port Hope appealed the decision and Angus issued a cross-appeal.

The appeal date has been set for April 18, Thornton says.

Angus is out of the country and not available for comment.

A request for comment by Mayor Bob Sanderson was not received by press time about the overspending allegations by Rural Representation.

Port Hope recently set its 2017 but which includes a 4.7% levy increase over 2016, on top of growth by assessment as set by MPAC.