Francesville approves CCD fund
Francesville Town Council members are moving forward with implementing a new tax to raise additional funds as they recently held a public hearing.
During a regular meeting on March 18, the council met with Eric Walsh, from Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, to discuss the next financial steps the town is taking to clean up some financial discrepancies. The council also held a public hearing in order for a cumulative capital development fund to be created.
The town council hired Baker Tilly, formerly Umbaugh, to review town funds and help newly elected clerk-treasurer Cathy Elston make some changes. Baker Tilly reviewed the town finances and it appears some budget calculations didn’t match the state calculations or were not entered correctly into the accounting software. Because of this, some of the line items were in the negative or appeared to be overspent.
Baker Tilly created a plan to bring all of the line items in the red and also suggested the town create a cumulative capital development (CCD) fund to bring in additional funding.
Walsh updated the council on what has happened since the Feb. 18 council meeting when the council was advised of the issues. He said the budget appropriations have been corrected and the five funds that were in the negative have been fixed in the 2018 budget. The company also helped Elston complete the annual financial report that was due to the State in February.
So far all the work that Baker Tilly has done is within budget or about $13,000.
Walsh also suggested that a utility analysis be conducted. Because there is a large amount of delinquent bills, Walsh said the town should look at a rate adjustment. He does not anticipate a sewer rate adjustment.
Along with discussing what the company helped the town correct, he also reviewed some of the findings that occurred. Walsh said the cash balances weren’t accounted for correctly and the town doesn’t have as much as originally calculated.
He also suggested that the town work to build funds regarding the bonds. A certain amount of funding is required to be saved by the town per the bond process but, according to Walsh and the calculations, that money is just not there at this time.
As the council looks ahead, it was suggested by Walsh that the town look at a utility analysis in the summer and then a comprehensive plan next year.
During the public hearing regarding the creating of the CCD fund, no opposition was voiced by the public.
The tax amount will gradually increase during the next three years before it will hit a maximum. It will then decrease over time.
A motion was approved to establish a CCD fund. Funds will be collected for the 2020 budget.
In other business:
• Minutes from the Feb. 4 meeting were approved.
• Town marshal Doug Lee gave a monthly stats update to the council. The department answered 17 calls to service and conducted 15 traffic enforcement stops. Lee said there are cameras in the park and the council might want to purchase signs indicating the area is under surveillance.
• Water superintendent Greg Stone said they will start flushing hydrants and disinfection of the sewer system will begin next week.
• The council discussed a quote regarding door tags. Johns said 500 door tags are estimated to cost $240 including the initial fee and the product. A motion was approved to purchase the door tags.
• Claims were approved.