Tonawanda News

The City

May 8, 2013

City on sound footing

Tonawanda News — The council received the City of Tonawanda’s 2012 financial report Tuesday evening from auditor Wayne Drescher, who said the city is in a very sound financial condition. 

“Your fund balance is at about $2.1 million, which represents just over 10 percent of your budget,” Drescher, of Drescher & Malecki, LLP, said at the body’s work session. “That’s good ... That’s what the bonding authorities want to see.”

Drescher said the city has an additional $2.5 million in the fund balance, but that money has either been assigned to this year’s budget or has been allocated for workers’ compensation claims or retirement accounts. 

The general fund had a surplus of $178,000 at the end of 2012. 

“It is good to see it was positive,” Drescher said. “The revenues were a little off in the budget, but you made up for it in expenditures, which had tight controls.”

Drescher was also glad to see the sewer fund at a surplus, which amounted to $179,000.

“That’s not great,” he said, citing the city’s impending mandated sewer projects. “But it is improving.”

City of Tonawanda Treasurer Joseph Hogenkamp said the city must bond $15 million to $20 million more for sewer projects in the next seven or eight years. Councilman Richard Slisz and other officials expressed concern about how those loans will effect the city’s fiscal state. 

“We are just bonding more and more as we go along,” Slisz said.

Drescher offered little consolation, pointing to a massive sewer project under way in the Town of Tonawanda.

“It will not get easier, and you are not alone in this,” Drescher said. “You know about the town next to you, but it’s not just the town.” 

But for this past year, he said the city performed responsibly. 

“You provided all the services to your residents, you paid your employees and you still had a surplus. It wasn’t a great surplus, but you had a pretty successful fiscal year,” Drescher said. 

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