Wilton ends FY15 $700K in the black

“It was a very good year,” Chief Financial Officer Sandy Dennies said at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Sept. 8, where she gave a final review of fiscal year 2015.
Dennies had expressed concern at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on June 15 that the town was close to being overbudgeted.
That said, First Selectman Bill Brennan was pleased to report on Sept. 8 that, “from the town’s side of the government ... we finished on a very positive note: under budget by over $700,000, which is somewhat of a great accomplishment because, if you’ll recall, we had absorbed $200,000 of unanticipated, unplanned expenditures. We had two of our lifts fail at the DPW (Department of Public Works) and we had the remediation of the lead problem at the Police Department.”
“Two hundred thousand dollars was absorbed and we still had $700,000 in savings,” he said, “so this is a particularly great accomplishment by all of the board members, because we really did watch our spending.
“This is the 10th year in my 10 years in this job that we have finished the year under budget,” Brennan concluded.
Dennies’ report
“Our revenues came in at $2.3 million higher than what we had budgeted,” Dennies said.
Of that $2.3 million, 1.3 came from a special education reimbursement, which the town had budgeted at zero due to the fact that those funds needed to offset additional costs in the special education program, Dennies said.
According to Dennies, the $2.3-million figure also reflects the sale of a fire truck in late 2014, the closeout of 2002 school construction grants, and the final receipt for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds from years back.
Close calls
Despite efforts to watch costs, town expenses pushed budget limits.
“The expenses, sincerely, were very, very close,” Dennies said.
The annual debt service payment came in at 99.79% of its allotted budget, the Board of Education spent 99.85% of its available budget, and the Board of Selectmen came in at 97.68%.

Other savings

Dennies said that $326,000 of capital will carry over into next year’s account because the Wilton Charter allows five years for the expenditure of capital.
Furthermore, she said the transfer station was budgeted at $290,000 for FY15, of which only $182,000 was spent, saving the town more than $100,000.
“I think the department heads truly need to be commended for looking at their expenditures this year,” Dennies said. “We knew it was going to be a tough year because of those unplanned expenditures that we had made.”
“My hat’s off to the department heads,” she said.