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.

“I feel we shouldn’t be penalized for trying to save money.”

— Doug Groesbeck

— “As a village fire department, this is the only way we can save money,” Groesbeck said. “That is still money that is being put away, it’s not like the village is going to give it back. The village can’t just take it and put it in their coffers, it goes into the reserve funds.”

On average, Groesbeck says the department puts between $10,000 to $15,000 total in the two accounts each year.

“We did a good job of not spending money this year in order to get that fund back up,” Groesbeck said. “We can’t run with that fund empty.”

At year’s end, the department had $13,147.49 in the two accounts.

“This isn’t the first year we have ended with a surplus, but at the end of the year, you can see where it dwindles down,” Groesbeck said.

But Antonacci says typical municipal entities should be putting between 5 and 15 percent in the reserve funds — the anticipated $51,675 is 20 percent of the operational budget.

“We’re talking about a half a million dollar budget. To have a surplus, I would like to know where their estimates went awry or were miscalculated,” Antonacci said. “That’s a large surplus for such a small budget. To me, anything more than 5 percent is probably more than enough. It would seem to me that that cash should be returned to the taxpayers.”

Groesbeck doesn’t expect to give any of the surplus back to the village.

“That’s up to discussion with the village board,” he said. “I feel we shouldn’t be penalized for trying to save money.”

The preliminary surplus could be lower once final, reconciled numbers come in for December, Mayor Patricia Butler said.

“It sounds like an enormous amount of money, and I’m not saying that it’s not,” she said. “But is it likely to be that much money? No. Should there be a substantial amount, when we know the amount, I will go back to the fire department and speak to the powers at be to see where this money should go and see where we should absorb it.”

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99percentss 4 years 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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