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Village finances holding steady



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December 22, 2010 - It appears as if the Village of Lake Orion is holding steady in terms of finances.

During the audit presentation given to the Lake Orion Village Council on Tuesday, Dec. 14, the overall message was that the Village was doing "great," considering the economic climate.

"This has always been a fiscally very conservative council, you've made some very good finical decisions," said Rana Emmons, the council's certified public accountant. "Thats how you end up today with a very good report."

"A year ago, I said watch the expenditures, because the revenues are being cut left and right, like drops in the property taxes, drops in state shared revenue, and these things are really outside of the village's control."

The loss in these revenue sources meant the Village of Lake Orion's total fiscal year revenue, a little over $3.8 million, was below their total expenditures, which were just under $4 million.

The same categories for last year were just over $4 million for revenue, and under $3.9 million for expenditures.

Because of the deficit, the council had to withdraw from the reserve fund, which decreased from nearly $1.3 million to $1.27 million. Last year the fund grew from $1.22 million to almost $1.3 million.

Despite these unfortunate outlooks, Treasurer and Finance Director Willa Smitko believes that under the circumstances they've held relatively steady.

"This outcome is about what we expected, maybe a bit better even, considering the circumstances," said Smitko. "We're still having decreases in property values, and the decrease in interest rates have dropped considerably.

"We've also had some fund decreases, and some net asset has been reduced, but considering these elements we feel that we've been able to maintain pretty well."

Village Manager Paul Zelenak agreed with Smitko, and stressed the importance of planning ahead.

"This is a difficult time, and all communities are facing reductions in revenue, but I think we've positioned ourselves over the years to absorb some of the value decreases," said Zelenak. "We're always looking three years beyond our current fiscal year so we can always be prepared."

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