Broadalbin fund balances need to be replenished

To the town of Broadalbin from your town supervisor and town board:

In May of 2017, an audit by the Office of the New York State Comptroller of the town of Broadalbin began which would not be final until June of 2018. That fall, when preparing the 2018 budget, the previous town board faced a $266,000 deficit in the Highway Fund, and a shortfall of $98,000 in the General Fund. Still, the budget was adopted, unbalanced and with insufficient revenues to pay the projected 2018 expenses.

In November of 2017, David Bogardus, Douglas Kissing and I were elected to replace three town board members who chose not to seek re-election.

As your new board approached each major payment deadline, we had to restructure our financing before payments could be made. We were joined in these efforts by Bruce VanGenderen, CPA and bookkeeper Theresa Butkevitch, and with their professional guidance, the town of Broadalbin Town Board has been able to prepare a 2019 budget that will sustain the needs of the coming year while starting to rebuild our fund balances to acceptable levels.

From 1985 to 2005 the tax rate in town of Broadalbin hovered between $1.62 and $2.35 per thousand. During that time period, two revaluation projects were completed and the equalization rate was close to 100 percent.

Since 2006, the tax rate in the town of Broadalbin has been a consistent plus/minus 90 cents per thousand. By 2012, the fund balances built up in the years 1985 through 2005 had become seriously depleted. While the cost of everything rose and fund balances depleted, the revenues necessary to run the town and provide the services expected were left unaddressed.

As the town started the 2019 budget calendar on Sept. 1, 2018, we faced deficits of $273,000 in the Highway Fund and $109,000 in the General Fund. This situation has been long in coming.

Restoring those fund balances is crucial to the rating of this town and its ability to borrow. Therefore, 10 cents of the proposed tax rate in the General Fund, and 10 cents of the proposed tax rate in the Highway Fund will be set aside to restore their respective funds. It has been projected that it will take the next 8 to 10 years to restore them to acceptable (OSC) levels.

SHEILA PERRY,

Town Supervisor

Broadalbin