Town Council discusses plans for $2.9 million budget surplus
By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
South Windsor - posted Thu., Sep. 5, 2013
Town Councillor Kevin McCann (R) surprised many residents present at a Sept. 3 meeting by announcing that South Windsor has a “significant surplus” in its operating budget for the fiscal year ending in June 2013. McCann recalled a July 15 meeting at which Town Manager Matthew Galligan reported to the Council that the town budget was “under-expended by $1,268,000.”
Saying he followed up by digging into the numbers himself, McCann said the town actually had an astounding surplus of $2.9 million. McCann said he asked himself three questions: “Is it real?; second, why wasn’t the Council made aware of the fact?; and, if it is real, what should we do with it?” He then asked, “Why wasn’t the Council made aware of the fact at the time we were deliberating the [2013-2014] budget?”
McCann feels if the Council members had known this sort of information, it may have influenced the way that they approached this past budget season. “It would have given us a bit of perspective,” he said. “We were essentially working in the dark.”
Almost a million dollars of this money belongs to the Board of Education. It is ECS funding from the state. “That is essentially off the table,” said McCann. Another $800,000 is from the fund balance and will most likely be placed back in the fund balance.
In the end, about a million dollars is left over from increased building and clerk fees, amongst other things. “It is very surprising that we would have such a fund balance in times which we have heard called ‘tough economic times,’” said McCann. “Part of the surplus came from the fact that we instituted a budget freeze in 2009,” he said. “We cut our spending to the bone.”
Galligan explained that he starts his budgeting in September and that during the budget season, the town is often working with tentative numbers, especially in regards to funding coming from the state. “I wouldn’t be holding anything back,” Galligan said to Mayor Tom Delnicki (R).
Residents who have endured both a revaluation of their properties and a large tax increase this past year are sure to ask why this happened. Although the Council says a rebate of taxes cannot be made, Councillor Keith Yagaloff (D) relayed that in his conversations with local taxpayers, they are still struggling tremendously to make ends meet.
“Utilize the money for reducing taxes,” Yagaloff said, “not looking for a way to spend it.”