Source: Sherman Publications

Township fund balance swells to $2.9M

by David Fleet

September 21, 2011

Atlas Twp.-A combination of conservatism coupled with nearly a decade of proactive planning has pushed township coffers to grow to more than $2.9 million.

Mark Perry of CPA for Yeo & Yeo presented the annual financial statements and auditor’s report for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011 at Monday’s township meeting.

“Conservatism really showed in Atlas Township,” said Perry following the audit report. “Consider the tough economic times and the township still grew the fund balance by $187,000.”

Perry said the township budgeted for $1.1 million for 2010-2011 and ended up with $2.9 million in fund equity. The balance is now at 270 percent of the budget said Perry.

“For municipalities like Atlas (Township) they have large capital expenditures, like fire trucks, road repair or bridge repair. So large outlays of cash for a project is needed at times.”

Township Clerk Tere Onica said the healthy fund balance was the result of good planning years ago.

“Most of our surplus funds were a result of the board actions between 2000 and 2008,” said Onica. The board has been very conservative. We saved a ton of money over the past few years in anticipation of the economic downtown. We started rolling back in 2006 and employees did not receive any increases by 2007. We eliminated positions at the township and cut hours. We were very proactive. The downturn in the economy started with the auto industry—we knew it was coming. and began taking action and conserving. (Former township supervisor) Paul Amman was a good planner.”

Onica and other township officials are concerned about the aging Genesee County drains which have been ignored over the years. The financial plan to upgrade the drains calls for Genesee County to pay 50 percent of the cost, the township 25 percent and residents pay 25 percent.

“We do have serious water issues in the township, but we have to wait for the county to do their part,” she said.

“The township will have to keep an eye on expenses and what the needs of the township are going to be in the future.”