Finance board considers truck

The Wilton Board of Finance meeting on Nov. 20 kicked off with a comment from chairman Warren Serenbetz.

He said he was asked at Tuesday’s Special Town Meeting about the correct cost per taxpayer on the Keiser property easement. He went on to say that the $20-per-taxpayer total was incorrect and, after reviewing the data, found that $18.60 was the correct number.

Dump truck

Tom Thurkettle, director of Wilton Public Works, asked to purchase two small dump trucks for a total of $94,468 from the non-recurring capital fund. Mr. Thurkettle said one truck would be for the DPW and the other would be for the Department of Parks and Recreation.

“The DPW truck is at the dealer’s with probably an $8,000-$10,000 repair bill,” he said.

The trucks are used plow Wilton Center and circles in smaller streets. The parks and recreation truck has been taken off the road due to various problems with it.

He indicated that quotes have already been received on the trucks and they are on the lot. Both trucks have been used longer than their expected life span.

Sandy Dennies, chief financial officer, said the non-recurring fund was set up by the Board of Finance and the Board of Selectmen for equipment that was “beaten up” as a result of recent storms.

“I believe there is about $160,000 that will be available in that account,” she said.

Mr. Thurkettle said the trucks can be in Wilton before winter.

The two department heads took their needs to the bidder, who then reduced the truck price on a volume discount. That, and the trade on the two existing trucks, helped reduce the total.

“I have no issue with replacing these two trucks,” board member Lynne Vanderslice said. “My issue is that we have a lot of money that may never flow through the income statement. There’s not enough transparency here for me.”

The motion carried, 4-0, with Ms. Vanderslice and James Meinhold abstaining.

Federal receivables

The board accepted funding of $74,318.44 from the Federal Highway Administration for expenses incurred during the snowstorm known as Alfred that took place in October 2011.

The second accepted fund came from the Nemo snowstorm of February 2013. This funding, from FEMA, amounted to $94,748.42.

The motion carried unanimously.

Draft audit review

Independent auditor Robert Daniele reviewed the data of the current fiscal year budget, and gave a fairly clean bill of health to the town’s financials. Mr. Daniele indicated that, because the town received more than $500,000 in federal aid, a required single audit, which is a compliance audit, must be performed.

“Your total revenues were budgeted at $111.4 million, and you actually realized just under $113 million, so from a budgetary standpoint, you did about $1.5 million better than budget,” Mr. Daniele said. “On the expense side, your budget was $115.2 million and you actually spent a little more than $113.3 million. Again, you had a positive variance there.

“From a budgetary standpoint, it was a well-managed budget”

Town status

Ms. Dennies said there are no outstanding items in revenue or expenses.

“We are just about where we should be at mid-year,” she said. “There is nothing remarkable in the budget at this time.”

Board member Richard Creeth pushed Ms. Dennies for a different form of report to be issued, taking issue with the presentation of the data.

“This report comes off the system,” Ms. Dennies said. “I don’t do a thing to it.”

Said Mr. Creeth: “I want to go on record to say that your opening statement was ‘as you can see from this report, everything’s fine.’ This new member of the Board of Finance cannot see that everything is fine, and that’s because I don’t know the timing.”

Mr. Creeth went on to say that it is “not normal” to do budgets on a monthly basis in municipal accounting.