At the November 19th Town Council meeting Mark Fleischer, Accounting Manager for the Town of Derry, presented an overview of the town’s financial status for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2020, which began July 1st and ended on September 30th.
Fleischer pointed out that the financial status information comes from a report put together by Derry’s Chief Financial Officer, Susan Hickey. Fleischer said, “The status to date — September 30th — is now 25% through the fiscal year. In a perfect world, revenue would be 25% of budget and expenditures would be 25% of budget. Of course, that does not always happen due to timing of bills and revenues. In the General Fund, the revenue and expenditures are at 19% and 31% of budget respectively. Cable revenue and expenditures are currently at 0% and 16%, respectively. Wastewater revenue and expenditures are at 4% and 21%, respectively.”
“Water revenue and expenditures are at 1% and 182% respectively. The reason why water expenditure is up so high is a result of the encumbrances on the funds from the big water project that is going down Ryan’s Hill towards Windham.”
The way this project is working is that the town is fronting the cash flow for the project to be reimbursed by the State of New Hampshire. Dave Caron, Town Administrator pointed out, “We have already received one reimbursement check for about 1/3 of $1 million and the turnaround happened in about three weeks, so the State has been prompt in reimbursing the town.”
“As expenses are made we are paying them,” Fleischer said, “we are then sending them off to the State right away. They want to keep the project flow going fast, so they will turn around the reimbursements fast.”
Fleischer continued with an overview of first quarter revenue highlights for the town. “Finance is high due to disability payments,” he said, “as they are received promptly from our insurance company. Fire is high due to receipt of intergovernmental payments for contracted ambulance and dispatch services. Town Clerk is high due to an increase in civil forfeitures. Code enforcement is high due to an increase in building permits. And Cable is low due to receiving first quarterly payments in October, however, the payments haven’t come in yet, but are expected any day.”
Fleischer next overviewed expenditure highlights, “Departments are trending individually between 13% and 71%. The Town Clerk elections expenditure is low due to lack of voting activity at this time of year. Information Technology is high due to annual software support payments being due at the start of the fiscal year. Human Services is high due to the reservation of funds to be paid quarterly to outside supportive agencies. Assessing is high due to the reservation of contractual fees due to Whitney Consulting, the Town’s outside assessing contractors. Highways and Streets are high due to the reservation of funds for roadway maintenance projects. The Transfer Station is high due to reservations for contractual services. A year ago the town was at 29% for first quarter expenditures.”
Other fund metrics will be given at the second quarter financial review after all year-end accounting transfers are completed between the town and the Trustees of Trust funds. This was scheduled to begin by the end of October.
Fleischer related, “So as the year goes on, we will see more activity that will put things into a more complete context. The second quarter will probably look a lot different than the first quarter.”
The Finance Department points out to the public that management of Derry’s financial resources is conducted in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, Federal, State, and Local Laws, as well as, the Town Charter.
All activity of the Finance Department is done with the acknowledgement of the Town’s stewardship responsibility to the public for efficiently utilizing the resources entrusted to it. That mission is primarily achieved through strict accounting practices, frequent comprehensive reporting, and effective budgeting and budgetary controls, while cooperating and coordinating with all Town Departments to ensure efficient, overall financial management.