Town status report shows good revenues, slow expenditures

The town budget is over the top, in a way, having reached 104.95% completion for the fiscal year ended June 30, according to Chief Financial Officer Sandy Dennies.

Ms. Dennies said the 104.95% reflects the fact she ran the report in July rather than June.

“The number is only configured when you run the report,” explained Ms. Dennies, who ran the report on July 16.

The number is “a mathematical calculation based on dates,” Ms. Dennies explained to The Bulletin. She said that if she ran the report on June 30 rather than July, it would have read 100%.

“Even though this is the June 30 report, this is not the final year-end report,” Ms. Dennies told the Board of Finance during its June 22 meeting.

“Since June 30, we have done a few more transactions, but there has been very little substantive change.”

Ms. Dennies said the town has until the end of August to make all the entries for the year.

“One of the things that I’m very happy about is that we collected 100.95% of taxes that are due,” said Ms. Dennies.

“That’s because we booked 99.3%, so we collected a little bit more than what we booked.”

Revenues

On the revenue side, Ms. Dennies said, everybody is “coming in better than budgeted.”

Educational revenues are up, which Ms. Dennies said is “basically a function of the additional funds that we received from closing out the three old school construction grants.”

Intergovernmental revenue is in overall good shape, she said.

“The collections we have made for licenses, permits and fees are very good,” said Ms. Dennies.

“We are also looking at other revenues, including the building department coming in about $50,000 more than what we had actually budgeted, and that is good.”

Recording fees are down in the town clerk’s office, said Ms. Dennies, because “most of the refinancing has been done [and] the rates were exceptionally low.”

According to Ms. Dennies, Planning & Zoning surpassed its budgeted revenues, with the building department over by about $55,000, and some overage in the finance department due to alarm registration.

“There’s definitely a little overage with the environmental affairs, so they’re coming in a little bit stronger,” said Ms. Dennies.

“With environmental health permits, they have definitely focused on changing practices. It’s not just the new food establishments that are bringing in additional revenues, but it’s more timely legal actions and processes that have been put in place that have made the department a little more responsive.”

Ms. Dennies said there has also been an increase in the number of permits issued by the police department.

“What’s really interesting to me is that the anticipated interest income has really gone beyond what we had budgeted last year, so things are starting to pick up,” said Ms. Dennies.

While revenue collections are good, said Ms. Dennies, “it’s on the expenditures side that we have a lot of catching up to do.”

Expenditures

“On the expenditures side, we paid out all of the debt for last year,” said Ms. Dennies.

“We paid out $68,000 to be able to issue our debt, and so we’ve expended just about all of that.”

According to Ms. Dennies, the Board of Education is currently working with the town finance department to close out the year.

“There are a number of things the town does for the Board of Education, in terms of booking expenses and stuff,” said Ms. Dennies.

“We really need to bring that to closure so we can get a good inkling of where they’re going to end the year.”

Ms. Dennies said she and Financial Director Ken Post have working closely on health claims.

“Once the money is going to that active health claims account, they can’t come out for anything except to pay,” said Ms. Dennies.

“We’ve been holding back and just putting in the money that we need to pay out the claims. Everybody is doing their thing to be able to bring the year to a close, but that’s our primary work right now — the Board of Education.”

When it comes to the Board of Selectmen, Ms. Dennies said, “we are watching every expenditure that comes in, just to make certain it’s being charged to the appropriate year.”

“There are many departments that are already over and a lot of departments that are very, very close. With the number of expenditures that we have yet to book, we’re really watching them,” said Ms. Dennies. "I think on the Board of Selectmen side, we’re going to be exceptionally close.”