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Fire Finances: Camillus FD ends 2011 with hefty surplus

Firefighter Tom Brown, a 13-year veteran  of the Camillus Volunteer Fire Department, gears up in the firehouse on Newport Road.

Firefighter Tom Brown, a 13-year veteran of the Camillus Volunteer Fire Department, gears up in the firehouse on Newport Road. Photo by Amanda Seef.

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The Camillus Volunteer Fire Department will be ending 2011 with a $51K surplus in their budget, which will be split between two reserve accounts.

— Once final numbers for 2011 are booked, the Camillus Volunteer Fire Department will see about 20 percent of its budget left unused.

Preliminary budget numbers show a $51,675 surplus in the department’s operational budget, a surplus large enough to cover the village’s costs to run the department.

According to a report compiled by Robert Antonacci, County Comptroller, the net cost to village taxpayers for the fire department is just $45,000 of its total $562,000 budget after revenue from a contract with the town. Though some bills are still trickling in to the village clerk’s office, this year’s surplus could be large enough to cover all costs to village taxpayers.

“I’m trying to do the best for the fire department and the taxpayers at the same time."

— Doug Groesbeck

“I’m trying to do the best for the fire department and the taxpayers at the same time,” said Camillus Fire Chief Doug Groesbeck. “I want us to maintain the high-quality fire service we do have.”

The fire department reduced their budget by nearly $28,000 for 2012 and Groesbeck said careful spending has assisted the department for 2011. The fire department represents more than half of the village’s total budget, but revenue from the town to cover the fire contract offsets nearly all of those costs, according to budget documents.

“I can’t just reduce the budget by $100,000 and at the end of the year be like, ‘Oh, I don’t have the money to operate the department,’” said Groesbeck, who is in his first year as chief. He was the deputy chief in 2011. “This past year we have been very conservative about what we have been spending money on. Costs are high, we’re putting away so [major purchases or repairs] don’t have to be sent to referendum.”

The department’s surplus at year’s end is split between two reserve funds for equipment and capital repairs. State law mandates the reserves can only be spent on the specific funds — equipment or capital repair. At year’s end, the fire department moves their surplus to the reserve funds, though the village could take the money.

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99percentss 2 years, 10 months ago

With no followup story from the Eagle, here is what I have to update the figures I have:

Using the 2012 budget that is for a total of expenditures and revenues of $1,111,293.07 approved by the Village Board on November 3rd?

Go to page 9 to get the 2011 and 2012 adopted budget figures for the CFD operating budgets...

2011 CFD operating budget of $302,919.25 (adopted budget 2011-2012 third column page 9) plus debt service total of $259,142.47 (page 19) (subtract the garbage truck principal and interest of $28,850.00, (page 17) Total Debt service is $230,292.47) plus Service Awards(pg17) of $21,700 for total of $554,911.72 Service Awards needs to be added from line A9025.8, $21,700 ( this is like a retirement benefit paid by Village taxes) The garbage truck needs to be omited from Debit Services.

Sorry but thats the real budget. 2011 FINAL Trial Balance is not gonna change the budget figures.(balance sheet after year closeout) It will only show balances of assets, liabilities and fund balances.

The final 2011 Detail of Expenditures report will show money moves within the budget. This would be the best paperwork to FOIL. With a Detail of Expenditures report, one might be able to infer suspect line items, line items that should not have been in the budget in the first place. ( where the play money is) Part of the way to get more money than what's needed is to add line items that don't get used, or increase line items that don't go up every year, so they have extra money to move later to places where the want to overspend.

$302,919.25 + $230,292.47 + $21,700 = $ 554,911.25 Total 2011 CFD Budget

Using same page numbers, use the figures in the very last column proposed 2012 budget to calculate the 2012 budget.

Total CFD operating budget from page 9 last column $334,682.81, add in debt service from (page 19) of $199,625.98, subtract garbage truck prinicipal and interest (page 17) of $27,887.50 = $171,738.48 ) BUT you need to add in the service awards amount from page 19 also of $16,100.00, which brings the grand total for 2012 to $522,521.29

$334,682.81 + $171,738.48 + $16,100.00 = $522,521.29 Total 2012 CFD Budget. 

2011 --- $554,911.72 Total Budget

2012 -- $522,521.29 Total Budget ( aprrox 6.2% decrease)Decrease of $32,390.43 from losing mortgage from Firehouse and losing qualified members for Service Awards.

However, spending of the CFD will go up: 

$302,919.25 CFD Operating Budget for 2011 

$334,682.81 CFD Operating Budget for 2012 

$31,763.56 INCREASE in spending. (10.5%)

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