WINCHESTER - With FY19 having come to a close on June 30, Town Comptroller Stacie Ward updated the Winchester Select Board on the town’s financial status through May 31.
She wrote property tax revenue is meeting expectations, but due to FY18 tax pre-payments the town collected slightly more by this time last year, “but not by much.”
She noted how motor vehicle excise revenue has come in over budget. which will cover the other shortfalls in the local receipts. She added that in June the town is over $4M in collections.
On the other side, license & permit revenue may come in slightly under budget, Ward suggested. The budget in FY19 was based on FY18 actuals and the town has collected approximately $20k more this year so far than last year, which seems like a good sign; however, she added, last year the town had a couple of large Building Department permit deposits made in late June (close to $200k). This year, Ward doesn’t see the same level of activity, but not everything has been submitted and processed yet.
The Miscellaneous Non-Recurring revenue includes more than $1M of the $1.5M Winning Farm developer’s payment pursuant to the agreement the developer, Ron Bonvie, made with the town. Per the agreement, $1M was considered general fund revenue and the remaining $500,000 for water & sewer infrastructure.
Of that $500,000, $17,000 went into the general fund to recoup the money used to pay for the Thornberry Pump Station (via a reserve fund transfer).
“Keep in mind,” Ward noted, “that this unbudgeted revenue will close to the General Fund undesignated fund balance as of June 30, 2019, and will be included in the Department of Revenue’s FY19 Free Cash.”
Indirects from the Enterprise Fund are posted quarterly; therefore, 100 percent of the indirects have been processed as of May 31.
The comptroller stated salary budgets are on target, but departments heads have been instructed to notify her (or the Town Manager’s Office) if anything changes.
Additionally, FY19 revisions were approved at Spring Town Meeting and are reflected in her report. These budget increases relate to snow & ice ($229,000), legal ($100,000), debt service ($80,000, which is for the high school project BAN pay down), worker’s compensation ($60,000), and a Finance Committee Reserve Fund replenishment ($166,000).
To meet unforeseen/extraordinary budgetary demands, the Finance Committee, Ward wrote, has made several Reserve Fund transfers in FY19 through May totaling than $226,452 ($60,443 replenished by Fall Town Meeting and $166,609 replenished by Spring Town Meeting). They include:
• $42,500 for the Eversource project
• $134,414 for legal expenses
• $31,595 DPW cemetery salaries
• $15,442 for contributory retirement
• $2,310 for Planning Board Personal Services
• $191 for Veteran’s Personal Services
In June, Finance Committee approved Reserve Fund transfers for the Energy budget ($80,000) and the Contributory Retirement System ($4,000 for military creditable service). She noted they reviewed the Workers Compensation budget and other areas during the month of June.
Ward wrote that subsidies to the Enterprise Funds are posted quarterly up front; therefore, 100 percent of the subsidies have been processed as of May 31.
The comptroller said the Water & Sewer Enterprise Fund appears to be meeting targets. For revenue, $58,000 of the Winning Farm developer’s payment was deposited into the Water & Sewer Enterprise Fund as miscellaneous revenue. $425,000 of that payment was recorded directly into the Thornberry Pump Station Capital Project Fund.