North Huntingdon commissioners adopt new fund balance policy
North Huntingdon officials are getting a better handle on township finances with a new fund balance policy.
Commissioners unanimously adopted the policy at Wednesday night's meeting.
It sets a limit on the reserve fund of no more than 25 percent of the township's general fund budget.
Commissioners started the year with a budget of roughly $11.45 million, and an estimated $7 million in reserve. They would need to spend down to about $2.86 million to fit the policy.
“There's no time frame on it to when we get there,” board of commissioners president Lee Moffatt said. “The more important thing with the policy is that once we get there, or once we get close is it's going to determine the taxes we tax ... You don't just want to tax and build up your own reserve. That's not good for anybody.”
Commissioners made strides this year to spend down the reserve by allocating $2.2 million to pay off the public works building's $1.8 million mortgage and adding an additional $400,000 to road paving projects.
They reduced the township's real estate taxes by 1 mill, setting the millage at 9.23 mills. One mill generates approximately $330,000.
Township manager John Shepherd said he anticipates the reserve fund to remain around $7 million despite the mentioned spending because of another projected surplus. He said the township will not have exact figures until the 2012 audit's completed.
The policy does not have any recommendations as to how the reserve fund should be spent.
Shepherd said spending it on capital improvements, one-time expenses and additional street projects would make more economic sense, rather than putting the money into new employees because of the recurring nature of the operating costs.
Shepherd consulted with other municipalities and agencies while drafting the policy. Murrysville is the only local community imposing a reserve fund policy, and it caps the fund at 20 percent.
The Government Finance Officers Association recommends a minimum reserve of 17 percent.
“A rainy day, 25 percent of the township budget is plenty,” Moffatt said. “There might be another tax decrease next year. I wouldn't have a problem if we decreased it for five years. It'll be interesting how we spend it ... In some ways it's not fair to the taxpayer to build up such a reserve. Tax what you need to operate, that's it.”
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McKeesport teacher among winners at Champions of Learning awards dinner
- McKeesport student’s prize-winning song about brother helps ease family’s grief
- Elizabeth Forward senior builds his own canoe in school’s lab
- West Elizabeth seeks funding to replace borough garage, fire station
- County 911 to provide Elizabeth police with records system
- McKeesport property deemed ripe for development
- Damaged Marina at McKees Point still slated to open in May
- Mon Valley schools honored for commitment to music education
- Mon-Yough area first responders say drivers need to stop, pull over
- Clairton police present interactive seminar on use of force
- East Allegheny may consider contract with new transporter