At the year’s half-way point, Sylvania Township fiscal officer David Simko told township trustees that departmental spending was below 50 percent of each department’s budgeted funds.
He credited “the work of department heads and employees within those departments for always working hard to keep expenditures down.”
There are places, he said, where budgets are passed with inflated numbers, allowing for much freer spending. Unlike those places, Mr. Simko stressed that the township is stringent in setting annual department budgets, “which means it takes effort to stay within the amounts budgeted for each year.”
The revenue side of the township’s budget remains stable. It is based on levies and fees which are predictable, “but we’re the ones who can control expenditures and that’s what I focus on a lot,” he told the trustees.
Sylvania Township doesn’t penalize departments for coming in well under budget.
“In some places, when a department spends a good deal less than they had budgeted and they come back the next year with a request for about the earlier amount, they’re told they can’t have it. That they showed in the previous year they didn’t need that much.
“That can lead to departments scrambling to spent every cent budgeted. We avoid that.”
Sylvania Township trustees, he said, have thorough budget discussions by the administration with the head of each department. He said the annual budget, when it’s approved, is an honest look at what spending should be over the year.
Through the first six months, each township department sits near the expected 50 percent of revenue.
Expenditures from the general fund for the same time frame were about $791,000 or 41 percent of the amount budgeted.
The road and bridge fund had spent about $860,000, only 31 percent of its annual budget. That percentage is certain to increase when bills are paid for summer road projects, Mr. Simko said
The police department had spent a total of about $3,892,000, or 49 percent of their annual budget and the fire department had spent $4.4 million, or 48.7 percent.
Mr. Simko said that in recent years the administration and trustees been very open about its finances when dealing with departments as well as unions.
Although there are still disagreements, the openness has led to a spirit of cooperation which has resulted in departments and each employee watching the bottom line, Mr. Simko said.
Written by: Mike Jones, Public Information Officer
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