The Woodward News

Local News

August 9, 2012

Fort Supply town board approves estimate of needs

Woodward, Okla. — FORT SUPPLY -- The Town of Fort Supply continues to take strides toward climbing out of its recent financial mire.

That includes action taken by the Town Board of Trustees during their regular meeting Tuesday night to approve a $74,400 estimate of needs budget for Fiscal Year 2012-2013.

This "estimate of needs" doesn't reflect all the revenue and spending of the town, since it doesn't include appropriations for the town's public utilities.  Instead it outlines a budget only for the municipality's general fund and sinking fund.

The following is the breakdown for Fort Supply's FY2012 estimate of needs:

General Fund - $74,400

• Personal services - $34,000

• Maintenance and operation - $40,150

• Capitol outlay - $250

Sinking Fund - $0

The town's accountant Meredith Meacham Wilson said she believes the estimate of needs provides "something realistic and attainable" as far as an outline for town spending this year.

"It's not perfect, but it's a good starting point," Wilson said to the town trustees.

In addition, she reminded them that "the budget is always amendable."

For example, in getting the FY2012 budget to balance, Wilson had to make certain expense cuts, such as reducing the approximately $6,000 that the town spent on 3 loads of asphalt for street overlay projects in 2011-12 to a budget of just $250 for 2012-13.

However, since the budget is set "conservatively," she said if the revenue from the town's utilities exceed the budgeted goals, then there will be extra money that could be appropriated for additional street overlay funds.  Or the extra revenue could go toward another expense.

On a positive note, Wilson told trustees, "already you can see we're meeting our goals."

She was referencing an approximately $58,000 profit for the month of July in the city's Public Works Authority account for utility billing.

"You've made some money," she said.

The increase comes from increased electricity and water use because of the higher summer temperatures, she said.

But the problem is that profit is based on the amounts that have been billed out for utility services and doesn't necessarily reflect what's been collected so far, Wilson said.

"We need more cash," she said, noting that the town still has almost $110,000 in outstanding vendor payables.

"That includes things that were not incurred this month because obviously there's been a gathering of debt," she said.  "But I'm not going to harp on the negative; it is what it is."

Wilson said the town is continuing to pay down those bills and make progress on that debt.  She said recent payments have brought the town "up-to-date with Western Farmers," the town's electricity supplier, and only "one month behind on City of Woodward," which supplies the town's water.

Going forward, Wilson said the town could see greater progress in these areas if trustees were to approve utility rate increases.

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