Village Uses $100K Surplus to Boost Reserves, Buy Equipment
The village spent the money on everything from a SMART board to cushioning the emergency fund. Find a complete list in the Village Board information packet, linked to from this article.
A budget surplus of more than $100,000 in 2011 has allowed the village to purchase some needed items and still continue to build its general fund reserve.
The money — exactly $105,666 — came from the village's general fund, meaning some of it is from the taxpayers. However, taxpayers shouldn't be worried, according to Village Administrator Jeremy Smith.
He said the surplus money was used to purhcase things the village would have budgeted for next year anyway, and administrators can't just put surplus money back into the budget.
"You can't really use this surplus to offset a budget because it's one-time money, so if you took it out of a levy, you can't put it back in," Smith said. "The board could have waited to do this stuff next year, but the outcome would have been the same. Most of the goals we worked toward were proper fund balancing for emergency situations, rainy day funds, and insuring a favorable bond rating."
It's true that the largest chunk of money went toward the general fund reserves for emergency situations, but other items weren't left behind. The Village Board first allocated almost $28,000 among things like the Village Park designs and election funds.
"The board could have waited to do this stuff next year, but the outcome would have been the same."
The village then spent the remaining $78,000 on things like padding the general fund reserve, purchasing the new equipment for the fire department and helping to fund the new welcome signs in Sussex. However, according to Smith, the big ticket item he's most happy with is putting $30,000 away for Sussex's future.
"The most important thing was allocating money toward the general fund reserve," Smith said. "We have a goal of hitting 33 percent for an emergency fund. We're about 30 percent there, so we're getting close to our goal, and I think it's important for the long term goals of the village."
Residents can see the full list of items purhcased in the Village Board's e-packet on Sussex's website. Each item also has a description as to why it was purchased.