Bucks County Herald

Doylestown Township looks back at 2016 expenses

DANA M. ECKMAN

As Doylestown Township undergoes its annual audit, Ken Wallace, the township's finance director, presented the preliminary figures for the municipality’s 2016 budget on March 7.

"The overall picture of this is a $4 million positive movement for 2016," Wallace said.

Wallace used a PowerPoint to show that the real estate transfer taxes were $252,000 higher than budgeted in 2016. According to Wallace, the township ended up with about $700,000 for the year.

In December, which Wallace said is typically a slow month, the township got an "unprecedented" $70,000 from the county.

Building permits were flat, however. That is, until December.

The township forecasted that building permits would come in at about $140,000. It more than doubled in December with a total 2016 amount at $332,550.

As for township expenses, capital projects like the Sensory Trail, the bridge design and the Neshaminy Greenway all came in under budget. The warm winter season correlated into using less salt, less contracted services, less materials and little overtime, saving $150,000. Fuel costs were down significantly across all departments, saving $36,000.

On the revenue side, the township took in more than $13 million compared with a budget of $12 million. The adopted budget for expenses in 2016 was $13.2 million and actual expenses came in at $12.2 million, Wallace said.

As of Dec. 31, the township had a fund balance of $7 million, which is up $1 million from last October when it was projected to come in at $6 million.

The commonwealth requires oversight of local government finances, and the township's financial records are annually audited by a board-appointed independent auditing firm.

Wallace told board members that they would be expending $452,000 of the township’s fund balance in 2017.

"We had a very good year in 2016,” Wallace said, adding there are challenges ahead.

There will be a contract to negotiate with the township's police department in 2018, unforeseen unfunded mandates plus storm water will be an issue the board of supervisors will need to address.

"In 2016, our revenues were greater than our expenses," commented supervisor Ken Snyder. "It was a great job by the township to make those reductions and get that revenue so it was a great job."

The township’s first budget work session will be held Tuesday, April 18 at 4 p.m. at 425 Wells Road, Doylestown.

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