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Johnston still looking for dividend answers

By Mike Williscraft
While Grimsby Ald. Joanne Johnston is still “uncomfortable” with the Town’s decision not to collect a 2010 dividend from its hydro operation, other members of council say it was never owed.
The dividend in question is valued at $122,000.
As far back as Fall 2015, Ald. Carolyn Mullins, chair of the Administration and Finance Committee, said the fact the dividend was five-years outstanding at that point was a “major concern” and one of five questions which she planned to confront Grimsby Energy’s management team with at its 2015 annual general meeting.
After that meeting, Mullins said she was told the dividend would be paid “in the near future”.
At the Sept. 18 meeting of council, CAO Derik Brandt told council the decision was made last year to write the dividend off, adding, “the official position of the municipality is we’re not going to attempt to collect that.”
On Monday night, when Johnston raised the matter again noting she had a meeting planned to discuss the matter again with the director of finance and CAO, Mullins position had changed.
“It was not a receivable, so nothing was written off,” she said, contradicting both what she said after the AGM of 2015 and what Brandt told council Sept. 18.
Monday Mullins said she was preparing a memo so council members could see how the dividend was dealt with.
For Johnston, the issue was not adding up.
“I am in no way comfortable with this. It is something that never should have been done,” said Johnston.

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