James Rada, Jr.
(2/21) Emmitsburg got a clean audit for
fiscal year 2007. This means that town monies were spend where town staff said
they were and monies were spent in the amounts that said were spent.
Though the town finished the year $68,429
in the black, the audit shows that town expenses climbed faster than town
The general fund, which is what pays for
most of the town’s operating costs, took in 11.8 percent more than fiscal year
2006, but it paid out 29.9 percent more. In dollar figures, the town took in
$175,460 more and spent $352,858. The audit notes that the main reason for the
large jump in general fund expenses was a 50 percent increase in electric rates
and other utility increases.
Looking at the final costs over budgeted
amounts shows that the only areas where the town actually cut expenditures
below budget were in public safety and recreation and culture. General
government, public works and debt service were all higher than budgeted.
The town’s water and sewer systems are
operated separately, in self-sustaining accounts.
“Both were operating in a very positive
way,” said Michele Mills with Draper and McGinley, the company that performed
This is “due in large part to government
grants received and the creation and collection of a water and sewer surcharge
on all new taps,” according to the report.
One disturbing note in the audit is that
the town payments on its debts is going to increase nearly five-fold for the
years 2013-2017. Thereafter, it will remain much higher than it currently is
until the year 2028. And this is only if the town doesn’t take on any new debt.
On the other hand, a positive note in the
report reads, “For the foreseeable future the Town of Emmitsburg will be making
a considerable annual investment, via its Enterprise Funds, in infrastructure
re-construction and maintenance in an effort to play catch-up after many years
of inadequate funding in this area.”
The town also finished the years with
$859,385 in its fund balance, of which, $645,510 is unrestricted. This is
essentially the town’s rainy day fund. It makes up 42 percent of the general
fund. The Government Finance Officers Association recommends a fund balance of
5-15 percent of the general fund.
Read other news stories related to the Emmitsburg Town