NARRAGANSETT- The Narragansett Town Council discussed the five-year financial plan for the town during a work session Monday.
The September report shows that the general fund is projected to have a June 30, 2014 surplus of $983,585 compared to nearly $1.1 million for September and nearly $1.2 million for August, said Donald Goodrich, director of finance. He stated that there are three major reasons for the projected surplus.
“First is that property taxes are projected to exceed the budget by $450,846. Second is the receipt of $550,000 from the settlement of the Downing and Salt Pond Properties suit,” said Goodrich. “The third is that as of now, the contingency of $300,000 is not projected to be expended. These three categories total $1.3 million. Changes in several revenue and expense categories bring the projected surplus down to the $1.071 million.”
For the general fund revenues, Goodrich said that the share of state beach revenues has been reduced by $38,775. The town’s share of meals tax is projected to be $38,056 more than the budget indicated.
Since revenues for August were projected to exceed the budget by $811,858, Goodrich said that the town clerk fees and building permits are being watched for possible problems.
The general fund expenses total to $170,817 which Goodrich said is less than the budget. Budget savings have dropped by $87,488 from September projections for police patrol and investigations. Fire operations have been increased based on trends for the four-month period, said Goodrich.
He also said that it is anticipated that the $300,104 budgeted for termination benefits will be adequate to meet termination needs and can also be used to offset a portion of the contact settlements with fire and police personnel. Both police and fire overtime costs are expected to exceed the budget and overtime costs are usually due to illness or staff vacancies.
The beach fund is projected to end the 2013-2014 year with unrestricted fund balance of $891,452, an amount sufficient to rebuild the North Cabanas if the council chooses to do so, said Goodrich.
“If the council wanted to vote to rebuild the cabanas, that money is there,” said Goodrich. “But that is dependent on if the council votes to rebuild the North Cabanas.”
The $400,000 advanced from the general fund for Storm Sandy repairs is projected to be paid back over three years.
The projection for the pension fund shows that there should be $561,718 remaining in the budget on June 30, 2014.
“By comparison, the pension budget for 2012-2013 came within $38,000 of meeting current costs, compared to a deficit of $454,000 for 2011-2012,”said Goodrich.
Narragansett Town Manager Pam Nolan said that she was impressed by the detailed review conducted by Goodrich.
“I would just like to say that I have never seen an enterprise fund in such great shape, ever, anywhere,” said Nolan. “And I am being dead serious. This is really impressive and you have done a great job.”