Finance Director Reviews Fund Balance Changes for Board

SOUTHBURY — During the Board of Finance on meeting Monday, January 11, Finance Director Dan Colton reviewed possible changes to the unassigned general fund balance, which contains approximately $4 million.

That amount does not include the $2 million earmarked for the purchase of Edgewood Bath and Tennis.

Mr. Colton explained that he would like to create a debt servicing fund to pay down current bonds. Money from the unassigned general fund balance could be used for this new fund.

He cautioned that the town would have a revenue deficit of approximately $300,000, with a surplus in expenditures before he explained the formula he would recommend for adding money to the debt servicing fund.

His explanation provided a 10-year forecast for debt repayment.

The board debated how bonded projects would fit in with this plan, especially the question of whether the town would purchase the pool in Middlebury or rehabilitate the facilities at Ballantine Park.

First Selectman Jeff Manville said he is talking with the owners of Edgewood Bath and Tennis to address possible remediation of contamination, which must be resolved before the matter goes to voters for approval in a referendum. “We have to wait for those results to determine if we’re going to go forward or not.”

He believes the purchase is not off the table and reminded board members that there could be a revenue stream from the tennis courts.

In other business, the finance board learned that Town Attorney Jeffrey Tinley is currently reviewing the RFP for the radio refresh.

He expects to finalize the document return feedback to the committee leading this effort.

The RFP will gather information that the committee will use to determine if the project should be done as defined or in phases.

The intent is to create an RFP that is flexible enough that the project need not be done by one vendor.

The board briefly discussed the longevity and future availably of parts so that the life cycle of the new system would be extended.

Mr. Manville confirmed that the RFP will address the life cycle concerns, adding that alternate financing options such as leasing will be included.

As the finance board reviewed the financial statements, members noted that the Parks and Recreation revenue will be approximately $55,000 as compared to the estimated $389,000.

The decrease is due to the pandemic.

Tax collections are slightly ahead of last year.

Town clerk fees are higher than in the past due to the increase in property sales and resulting conveyance taxes.

Southbury has received 100 percent of what it had requested from the state for Covid-19 related expenses.