By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – Village officials are anticipating excess funds of around $320,000 being left over in the general fund balance at the end of 2018.
The Ashwaubenon village board agreed Tuesday, Dec. 18, to transfer that surplus money for designated future uses.
The board transferred $158,877 to the public safety capital projects fund, $74,627 to the park and recreation capital projects fund and $22,500 to public works for a garage hydraulic lift and sandblaster, with any additional excess funds for 2018 being split in half between the employee retirement fund and the road reconstruction capital projects fund.
Finance Director Greg Wenholz informed the board the primary reasons for the surplus in 2018 included $144,500 that had been unpaid/unbilled in prior years with the Oneida EMS agreement, $116,106 from the Klipstine Park remediation settlement and $60,000 in interest income.
Though the board could allow the surplus funds to be added to the existing unassigned fund balance, Wenholz said the future use of the funds could be viewed negatively by credit rating agencies as unbudgeted expenditures, thereby negatively affecting the village’s Aa2 rating.
“Of course, the board can do with excess funds what they want,” he said. “Once we put it somewhere, we can still change that, but we’re just basically designating it in our financial statements.”
Wenholz said he should know around next March when the final audit is done as to what the surplus amount will be for 2018.
Trustee Mark Williams questioned why way-finding signage wasn’t among the designated items to use surplus funds from 2018.
Williams previously called for looking at the use of way-finding signs in the village. A committee is being formed for that purpose.
When Trustee Ken Bukowski asked about setting aside surplus funds into a rainy day fund, Village Manager Allison Swanson said there are still surplus funds from 2017 uncommitted toward specific items as well as excess stadium tax dollars that are still available.
“In addition, every year we have varying amounts of excess (funds),” Swanson said. “In 2019, we would anticipate the same. We just don’t know what that number is. And right now we don’t know the number for the way-finding (signs). Should we go ahead with that, we would need to develop where that is, how many signs we need, what that amount is. Even if you had to, you could still redirect even these (2018 surplus) funds.”