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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Freistatt village board reviews budgets

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Freistatt Board of Trustees closed out its books on 2011 and passed a budget for 2012 during its January meeting.

Clerk Deborah Schoen presented the final report on 2011 so that trustees could revise the budget to actual spending. All of the checking accounts finished the year in the positive range.

The village generated $20,622.89 for the year, mostly from franchise fees, revenue from the Department of Motor Vehicles and property taxes. Spending for general operations totaled $21,013.04, not counting capital improvements.

Water and sewer funds also closed in the black. Schoen said the revenue from increased water rates after the first quarter of 2011 should please U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development accountants who review the village's cash flow for its loan.

The only fund where spending exceeded revenue was the general fund, which was tapped to purchase the $14,675.12 storm siren. Because the fund started the year with significant money carried over from the previous year, the dip into working capital of $7,099.47 was covered.

Board members agreed the storm siren represented a needed expense and was worth doing. Schoen suggested budgeting major projects over two years in the future to reduce the drain beyond what the village generates in a year's time.

The 2012 budget, shaped by two trustees during a budget workshop, held fairly close to the 2011 figures. Slight increases were proposed, such as boosting utilities from $10,608 in 2011 to $11,000 in 2011.

The general account projected a deficit of $1,755 at the 2011 rates. Schoen expected rising electricity and gas bills would boost franchise fees. By her calculations, the general account would end 2012 with $2,500 to spare.

Factoring a full year at the current water rates would also boost income over the 2011 total to leave a total of $6,000 in the black. Schoen said it also appears customers are using more water.

Trustees adopted the budget as presented, calling for a net income of $14,421 after expenses.

Administrative action

Several pending property maintenance violations and violations of the dog ordinance were discussed. One property had reportedly been foreclosed upon by a bank. Trustees asked Schoen to send a notice of abatement to the bank over vermin infestation. Details about the cases were reviewed and forwarded to the city attorney.

Schoen asked for an update of the village's Quick Books accounting system. The last update was purchased in 2008. Schoen said periodic updates have provided improved features, but she recommended buying an update every three years. All of the financial records of the village are in the Quick Books system, she added.

Trustees agreed and authorized the $199.95 purchase.

Department reports

Schoen reported residents paid $6,203.10 in utilities during December. The village collected $53.12 in late fees, up slightly from the previous month.

On a historical note, Schoen pointed out residents had voted for a $60,000 bond issue to build the village's first water system in January 1972.

Water operator Alan Obermann's report showed 293,800 gallons of water had been pumped in December. Heaters were running at the well houses to avoid freezing.

Sewer operator Donald Robertson said the lagoon had a freeboard measurement of nearly four feet and had not needed irrigation for some time. The site of the sewer bypass spill from December 2009 remained dry, showing maintenance efforts have been successful.

The next trustees meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 9 at the Freistatt Community Building.

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