Town fiscal year begins on target
At a Town Council worksession on September 27, the council talked finance and public works projects. Finance Director Amy Land delivered the monthly financial report for August, and as she explained the report page-by-page she repeatedly commented that, so far, things look favorable for the fiscal year, which runs July 1 to June 30.
This includes actual tax collections, which are “right on target through July and August,” taking in a little over $2.14 million in August and $3.5 million for the fiscal year to date.
August’s license permits and fees took in $34,271, and at 17 percent of budget they are “much higher than last year,” which was at around 10 percent, said Land. This is primarily due to an increase in building permits and other clerk licensing and fees.
Other fees looked pretty promising, too: At $37,582 year-to-date shellfish licenses are “right where they should be”; rental moorings took in about $270,000 so far this year, “a little higher than we’ve seen”; and public wharfage fees were up $8,000 from last year, at about $70,000.
There has, she reported, been no state aid received for any town entities such as the library or the school, but a Coastal Resilience grant was received for $3,290, which is for a sea level research study. In response to a question from First Warden Kim Gaffett, Land reported that the town library grant in aid money has not come in yet, but is expected to at the budgeted amount.
Administration expenditures are at $113,106 fiscal year-to-date, which is at 11 percent of budgeted, as compared to 15 percent last year, said Land. Expenditures for finance, wages for building department and the library for August are also on target with last year. Boards and commissions expenditures, at $23,304 are slightly lower than last year.
However, rescue expenditures and recreation expenditures are a little higher than last year at this point, said Land. Harbors expenditures are also up two percent from last year. But Land noted that water/sewer usage was billed a month earlier than last year.
The town has spent $110,551 on highways and maintenance so far this year, at about a quarter of budgeted, and $693,461 on community support (such as to the school, medical center and B.I. Early Learning Center) which is at around 14 percent of budgeted.
Land also commented that in May, the town has refunded three general allocation bonds from 1998 and 2002, which will result in $35,000 of town savings in 2013.
Capital improvement, public works
The council launched into a lengthy discussion about where the town should designate its $24,492 in unallocated fiscal funds for 2013.
Out of a list of recommendations for capital improvements that were put forth by the Planning Board, and has had some funds designated by town voters already, the council came up with a list of three possible suggestions: the harbors pumpout engines, the fire and rescue building, and the coast guard station. It will make a decision after further research and a recommendation from the town manager.
Town Manager Nancy Dodge provided an update on town administration and public works. She reported that the state Department of Transportation is planning to do work on Ocean Avenue in the spring.
She also said there is an RFP advertised for someone to provide beach concessions for next year.