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Village Council

Village Council talks numbers

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At their most recent meeting on Monday, May 15, Village Council members heard reports from Finance Director Amy Kemper and Treasurer Judy Kintner. The main takeaway was this: money is coming in, and expenses have come in under budget, but the year has just begun.

Kemper began her presentation by telling Council that first quarter revenues were $1.2 million ahead of budget as of the end of March.

“We got a lot of revenue early in the first quarter,” Kemper said, explaining that the bump in cash reflected a disbursement of property tax dollars that the Village receives in March and September of each year. In addition to money received from property tax, the Greene County auditor requires municipalities to be conservative in estimating their income, Kemper said.

On the expense side, Kemper said the Village has spent $430,000 less than budgeted in the first quarter.

“That’s actual expenses, not incumbrances,” Kemper said.

When Council determined the budget, they had accounted for a loss of $1,438,000 through the fiscal year, but Kemper said the Village had gained $207,000 for the first quarter.

“There’s a lot of timing that goes into that,” Kemper said.

To illustrate the timing of expenditures, Kemper said the Village would soon have higher staffing expenses associated with the seasonal opening of Gaunt Park pool and maintaining green areas owned by the Village. She also said the Village would see additional expenses after filling several positions that had been open prior to April 1.

“You’re going to start seeing us catch up on expenses,” Kemper said.

Kemper also presented an expense analysis by fund, which shows negative balances in several line items. Kemper noted that the report  was “misleading,” because it included all encumbrances for the year, but only factored in revenue for the first quarter. 

“A lot of our projects are encumbered on January 1 for the whole year,” Kemper said.  “We are encumbering those big projects that span more than one year.”

Kemper went on to say that the Village has encumbered 51% of its expenses, resulting in purchase orders open for the whole year.

“That means these projects are actually going to get done,” Kemper said.

Kemper cautioned Council to be aware of spending in the Council Commission line of the budget. Council had originally budgeted $25,000; at the time of Kemper’s report, Council approved expenditures for codification services and Earth Day, totaling $9,950.75. Since the end of quarter 1, Council has approved a $5,000 donation for Yellow Springs Pride, $15,000 for Street Fair, and $1,200 for the Juneteenth celebration.

Council President Brian Housh said Council  would need to move more money into the commission budget line to keep up with spending.

In response to a question from Housh, Kemper said she projected that the Village would lose about $2 million, half the $4 million deficit estimate made during the budgeting process.

“I think our revenues are under-budgeted,” Kemper said, explaining that the budget did not factor in utility rate hikes or changes to the reciprocal tax rate.

“I think we are glad that things look better than we thought they did last year,” Housh said. “But I want folks to recognize that it’s not all rosy.”

Treasurer’s report

Council Clerk and Treasurer Judy Kintner said the Village had $11,223,911 under active investment.

“That is an increase of $227,243 since January,” Kintner said.

That increase is, in part, due to interest earnings from investments from Jan. 1 to March 31, totaling $70,520.33. The Village currently has a locked-in interest rate of 4.95% in their WesBanco account; as a result, the Village can move funds to the account to increase their return on investment.

“We’re on a good trajectory this year,” Kintner said.

Kintner said she was “enjoying” watching the Star Ohio account as its interest rates have continued to increase.

“It’s just chugging along,” Kintner said.

Housh took a moment to highlight the return on investment the village has received in the first quarter — $95,000 versus the $146,000 made in 2022.

“We’re not just tracking,” Housh said. “Wow. That looks really good.”

Council member Gavin DeVore Leonard said he was really pleased with how financial information is being shared and the work that has gone into creating a sound investment strategy for the Village.

“It takes analysis and work to identify these opportunities,” DeVore Leonard said. “They’re working for us and the dollars are working for the community.”

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