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Township fund balance at $1.6 million

August 20, 2014 - Atlas Twp.- Mark Perry, a CPA for Yeo & Yeo, presented the annual financial statements and auditor's report for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014 at Monday's township meeting.

Since 2004, the township has doubled its general fund balance, swelling from $1.1 million in 2004 and peaking at just over $2.5 million in 2011. The fund balance is the excess of the township assets above its liabilities (what the district owns minus what it owes). While cash is an asset, it's only one of many of an institution's assets. Others include: accounts receivable, prepaid expenses, supplies, equipment and buildings.

But since 2011 the fund balance has dwindled to just under $1.7 million a decline of about $900,000, according to the audit.

"There are several reasons the fund balance has been reduced," said Perry. "A purchase of a fire truck for $369,000 was taken out along with a transfer of funds for the police contract. The millage covers most of the needed money; however, occasionally there's a need for extra. In addition, the township has spent funds on road improvements over the last few years."

The fund equity in the township is more than 100 percent of the total expenses.

"Keep in mind, local units of government, whether townships or villages or cities for that matter, spend a great deal on infrastructure—such as street repair. A mile of asphalt cost $1 million today, the fund equity has to be built up to afford big ticket items, such as a fire truck or road repair. In contrast, educational institutions spend more on wages."

The fiscal year 2013-14 included total revenues of $2,176,405 with expenditures of $2,418,013, prompting dipping into the fund balance for $241,608. Still, the township maintained a hefty $1,684,912 general fund balance.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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