WINCHESTER - As the 2022 fiscal year comes to a close at the end of the month (June 30), Town Comptroller Stacie Ward sent out a memo highlighting revenue and expenditures through the end of April.
Ward said real estate and property tax revenue “is meeting expectations.” She added how new growth came in higher than expected, so in order to balance the tax recap, her office reduced local receipts estimates.
In relation to local receipts, Ward said she expects most of the actuals to exceed estimates. As of April 30, the town netted $2.9M in surpluses. She noted how it’s unusual for the town to incur this much in surpluses this early, but the town received more than $1M in permit revenue associated with the Cambridge Street and River Street 40B projects and her office estimates each line conservatively.
The town should receive the Payment in Lieu of Taxes revenue agreement with Winchester Hospital this month, according to the comptroller.
As it relates to miscellaneous non-recurring revenue, Ward said it doesn’t usually get budgeted unless the town receives said revenue before fall Town Meeting that it needs or wants to appropriate. At fall Town Meeting in 2021, the town appropriated $285,000 of miscellaneous revenue - $275,000 related to the River Street development and $10,000 related to Eversource.
An additional $80,000 in the budget relates to a debt exclusion correction per the Department of Revenue (DOR). The actual revenue includes the amount appropriated, plus additional funding from Eversource and reimbursements from the state in relation to its COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave program (that $80,000 is a budgetary adjustment only, Ward said, noting DOR adjusted the town’s Free Cash, too).
Ward also noted 100 percent of the indirects from the enterprise funds have been processed.
The comptroller said salaries and expenditures are meeting expectations for the most part. As usual, she told department heads to let her or the town manager’s office know if they need additional funding or require any other changes. She added how spring Town Meeting approvals would be reflected in the next report.
Ward said snow and ice activity resulted in deficits that were funded at spring Town Meeting, with said deficits approved by the interim town manager.
Due to the nature of some of the departmental activity, the comptroller said some of the budgets will be spent more than the expected 83 percent:
• MIIA general insurance premium paid in July
• health insurance premiums are paid a month in advance (mostly)
• worker’s compensation is prepaid through a third party
Ward also noted 100 percent of the subsidies to the enterprise funds have been processed.
Ward said the Water & Sewer Enterprise Fund “appears to be operating as planned and for the most part will meet budgeted targets.” She added billings for FY22 total $6,053,013, which is about $30,000 higher than budgeted. Final bills were due June 1.
Rates increases approved by spring Town Meeting will take effect on consumption used after March 1 to be billed in July (FY23).
As for the Recreation Enterprise Fund, Ward said it “appears to be operating as planned and for the most part will meet budgeted targets.” She mentioned how activity should increase toward the end of the fiscal year as summer approaches.
According to the director, they have been conservative in keeping their expenses under budget and will continue to explore additional funding opportunities such as grants and donations to help offset operating costs and to potentially invest into programs and facilities.
Ward said “barring any emergency expenditures, revenue should continue to exceed expenditures.”