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Landis sees fund balance grow to state’s recommended amount

By Liz Moomey

liz.moomey@salisburypost.com

LANDIS — An audit presented Monday night showed the town’s fund balance was at 9% in fiscal year 2018-19, an improvement by more than 8% since the previous fiscal year.

The Local Government Commission, which is under the state treasurer office, recommends the fund balance should be at least 8% of the general fund expenditures.

For fiscal year 2019, the Landis had an available fund balance of $301,645, compared to $26,168 in fiscal year 2018. 

In the 2019 fiscal year, the town saw an increase in revenue of $333,000. Accountant Tony Brewer, which Eddie Currick CPA, said this is due to an increase tax collections and local option sales tax increase.

The town had fewer expenditures in public safety, environmental protection and culture and recreation. The town had an increase in general governmental expenses of more than $20,000 and an increase in transportation expenses by $341,000 for road improvements and the purchase of two mowers.

The storm water fund is at negative $45,000. The fund’s revenues was $107,500 and its expenditures was $152,500. The town purchased a boring machine and park stormwater improvements.

The light fund revenues were up and the expenses declined. The end of fiscal year balance was $517,000. In fiscal year 2018, the light fund was negative $380,000. Electrical purchases are down and capital outlay expenses were down as well because in 2018 the town purchased electric light meters.

The sewer fund had a $98,000 balance for fiscal year 2019, compared to minus $317,000 in fiscal year 2018. Capital outlays were down because of the purchase of the jetvac truck in 2018.

The water fund had $204,000, a decrease of $70,000 from the previous year. The fund transferred $265,000 to the sewer fund in fiscal year 2019.

Brewer said the property tax collection rate was about 96% in fiscal year 2019, compared to 97% in fiscal year 2018. The town’s debt decreased $314,000. The town didn’t take on any new debt in 2019.

Other business:

• The town voted to repurpose funding appropriated for renovations at the Landis Police Department. It was previously approved to create a revenue stream to pay for a holding cell for juveniles at the police department.

Interim Town Manager Leonard Barefoot said the police department needs to replace the front doors of the police department, costing less than $5,000. For the holding cell, the department plan on restructuring one of the rooms into an interview room that can also be the juvenile holding room.

Barefoot said he doesn’t know the price, but expects the police department can make the changes within its budget.

The town’s budget had $42,500 appropriated for the renovations.

• The board gave the OK to the fire department to pursue a grant through the Fire Marshall’s Office. According to Lt. Charles Sheeks, the grant money, if awarded, would replace five breathing apparatuses that are outdated and can’t be repaired and allow them to have water rescue equipment for Lake Corriher Wilderness Park.

Sheeks said the fire department’s insurance rating is four. They hope to decrease it to two. One is the best rating.

The grant application is due March 1. The award would be announced May 15.

The highest awarded amount is $30,000. The town would have to provide a local match.

• Barefoot gave a manager’s report. He said the town has two vacant positions, assistant town manager and administrative assistant to the manager, in Town Hall. He’s hoping to fill the police chief position by April 1.

He told aldermen he wants them to begin the process to hire a new town manager in April, with the manager starting in July or early August after the budget process.

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