Council Hears 2016 is ‘Banner Year’ for Town Finances

The Town of Londonderry is on schedule to return an estimated $2 million to the Unassigned Fund Balance.

Town Manager Kevin Smith gave an update on the 2016 budget at Monday night’s Town Council meeting.

“Once again it has been a banner year,” Smith said.

Expenses are down, Smith told the Council and television audience.

The town’s original working budget was $87,067,354. Expenditures as of June 30 were $85,678,253.

Smith said Chief Darren O’Brien’s Fire Department led the way in careful budgeting. Fire’s original budget number was $7,010,768, while the department only expended $6,778,288, leaving a surplus of approximately $232,000.

“I commend the Chief for prudent budgeting,” Smith said, adding that such was not always the case with the Fire budget.

“Three years ago there was a lot of overtime,” he said, “and every other department had to make up for Fire.”

Police also came in under, with an original budget of $8,286,524 and expenditures of $8,119,211, for an ending surplus of $167,313.

The Leach Library ended with a surplus of $13,611; Recreation had $2,938; Cable, $11,794; and Social Services and Welfare $9,400 and $59,215 respectively.

Revenues are also on the rise, with motor vehicle permits alone up $1.1 million over what was estimated, Smith said. “That is pretty significant,” he said.

FY 15 was also a good year, and after two good years of revenue in a row, Smith said he would “bump up” the revenue estimates for 2017.

It’s a sign of the efficiency of local government, Councilor Tom Dolan observed. “We are the smallest unit of government, compared to county, state and Federal,” he said. “Look at the Federal government, with its $20 trillion deficit. We don’t do deficit spending here, we pay as we go. If we don’t have it, we don’t spend it.”

Dolan continued, “I hope other levels of government will use ours as an example. Don’t spend beyond your means, save something for a rainy day.”

In other business, the Council approved the withdrawal of $46,161.59 from the Fire Truck Capital Reserve Fund for the lease/purchase of a tanker for the department.

The contract is with First Niagara, and with the approval, Finance Director Doug Smith said, “We will continue to have a fleet that is second to none.”

Fire Chief O’Brien said the life of the new tanker is estimated at 15 years.

The Council unanimously approved the appropriation of funds.

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