With revenue up, spending down, village’s financial report rosy

Haas happy with audit but says he is concerned about debt, maintaining reserves in case of emergencies
Ozaukee Press staff

Financial security continues for the Village of Fredonia as its end-of-year audit by Wendi Unger of Baker Tilly came back below budget and showed higher-than-expected revenues.

The village budgeted $1.11 million in expenditures but only spent approximately $989,000, Unger said at its Aug. 18 Village Board meeting. Additionally, the village received donations toward fireworks, more building permits and a higher investment income than anticipated. This helped the village exceed its expected revenue by roughly $9,000.

“There was $1.3 million in revenue,” Unger said. “Revenue was budgeted at roughly $1.22 million so overall your revenue came in over budget, which is a very positive scenario. Another reason for revenue being higher include your building permits coming in with $47,000 more than anticipated at the time of budgeting.”

Unger said public works and public safety budget items came in as expected, too. The only red flag Unger pointed out expense-wise was that the general goverment fund was slightly over budget.

“General Government was over a little bit but (that’s when) we’re looking at the various individual categories,” Unger said. “Nothing of a material or significant nature stuck out (overall); everything was very close.”

Fredonia officials, like Trustee Joshua Haas, are enthusastic regarding the audit.

“We are happy with the results we got from the auditor,” Haas said. “We work hard for those results and we are happy we got them.”

Depite the audit coming back relatively positive, Haas doesn’t want that to be misconstrued as having no room for improvement. One area Haas would like to see improvements is village debt. The village is allowed to borrow between 25% and 35% of its assets, according to village ordinances. Haas said he thinks the village’s current debt percentage of 32% can put him at the edge of his seat.

“There always seems to be some expense we didn’t expect when making the budget,” Haas said. “We really have to maintain our debt and financial reserves in case of an emergency.”

Haas said village staff and trustees are aware of this and work hard to generate revenue while also evaluating what will help the community blossom.

“We really work on living within our means,” he said.

They accomplished this by monitoring sewer and water rate alongside projects like the new business park project, Haas said. The village recently allocated funds to help bring electricity to its business park in an effort to attract businesses.

However, building revenue isn’t the only priority at play. Haas said village staff and trustees make a great team when evaluating the line between finances and supporting the community. This is why Haas said the village is exploring keeping water and sewer rates the same for next year’s budget, despite wanting increased revenue.

“The consensus is that it has been a hard couple of years for everyone so we are looking to provide relief where we can,” he said.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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