Town Expects Surplus at Close of Fiscal Year

The Town of Derry is holding its own financially.

Controller Janice Mobsby gave the first quarterly report of 2016 at the Jan. 5 Town Council meeting.

Mobsby said the cash balance as of Sept. 30, 2015 was $55.5 million. Of that, she said, $47.3 million is “operating cash” and $8.2 million is in the purview of the Trustees of Trust Funds. She said this is a decrease of $1.9 million from the previous year, primarily due to payments to contractors from the bond for the new Transfer Station.

Unpaid property taxes have decreased by $260,000 to $1.3 million over the past year. Before reserves, tax liens total $1.4 million, $489,000 below FY 2015. The tax deeding and resale of tax-deeded properties has lowered tax lien receivables and the inventory of tax deeded property available for resale, Mobsby said.

Assets held for resale decreased $445,000 over the previous year.

Non-tax-related receivables, primarily from ambulance billing, decreased $24,000 to $1.3 million, due to a decrease in the number of ambulance trips.

Capital assets net of depreciation increased $138,000 over the previous year.

The town reduced the value of the town-owned Derry District Court property by $1 million, in anticipation of the transfer of the property to the State of New Hampshire.

The town’s investment in capital assets exceeded annual depreciation within the categories of roadways, $116,000; tax-deeded property to retain, $67,000; and buildings and improvements, minus $1,427,000. However, she said, the CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) increased by $2.1 million due to the new transfer station.

Investments did not keep pace with depreciation in the following categories; Land and improvements, minus $260,000; machinery and equipment, minus $110,000; bridges and sidewalks, minus $129,000; vehicles, minus $188,000; and software and easements, minus $605.

General fund revenues, according to Mobsby, are tracking at 44 percent of the FY 2016 budget but are 2 percent below the comparable period for 2015.

General fund expenses are tracking at 21 percent of the FY 16 budget and 11 percent below FY 15 expenses for the comparable quarter.

Revenues include:

• Tax revenues are $289,000 below collections as of Sept. 30, 2015.

• Ambulance revenues have seen a 3.1 percent decline in billable transports.

• Reimbursed police details are slightly less than budget but more than were collected two years before.

• Motor vehicle registrations are trending $96,000 above budget when compared to FY 15.

• Planning Department fees as anticipated were exceeded with one application for a 72,000-square-foot storage facility.

• Recreation revenues are stronger than FY 2015 due to higher use of Gallien’s Beach and Don Ball Park.

• Parks revenues are higher due to reimbursement from the Derryfest Committee for assistance during the festival.

Expenses include:

• Fire, expenses running below last year due to elimination of four staff positions and temporary closure of Hampstead Road Fire Station.

• Town Administration is trending below budget due to the layoff of the Assistant Town Administrator/Human Resources (HR) Director and part-time HR position, but trending higher than last year due to unfilled Town Administrator position in prior year.

• Assessing is running both below budget and below last year due to staff reorganization.

• Highway is running below past year due to salt trucks acquired that year with grant funds.

Mobsby said she envisions a surplus at the end of FY 16 because personnel expenses are lower, due to staff cuts, and motor vehicle revenues are trending toward a rise.