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Brandon Township audit, fund balance 50 percent

July 03, 2013 - Brandon Twp.- While the police and fire fund balances in the township have declined, the general fund balance is on the rebound.

"The general fund balance has increased $144,000," said Ken Palka during an audit presentation to the township board during their July 1 meeting "It is apparent you take your budget seriously."

Pfeiffer, Hanniford and Palka is the firm that recently completed the township's 2012 audit. The township now has about $900,000 overall for general fund purposes.

"We had an even larger carry forward in the general fund than I was anticipating," said Supervisor Kathy Thurman. "It means we are being fiscally responsible. One thing we would like to do is reward our employees with a raise, but we haven't decided what the raise will be yet."

She noted that from 2008 to 2010 the township board struggled with the fund balance and now it is stabilizing.

Palka recommends municipalities keep at least 50 percent of their operating expenses in the fund balance. With the township's operating expenses at nearly $1.6 million, the board is meeting the recommendation for the general fund. However, Palka would like the township to address the police fund, which he describes as "still struggling" and fire fund, which also "took a hit."

The police fund was down to $125,000 in December, Palka said, giving the township just a few weeks of cash flow to pay bills. He would like to see a police fund balance of at least $800,000.

The fire department has four separate funds, complicating matters, but had a $184,000 operating fund loss this year.

"You need more capital and infrastructure as far as equipment and vehicles," said Palka.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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