Borough ends 11-12 fiscal year with $1 million surplus

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NAUGATUCK — The borough finished last fiscal year with a surplus of about $1 million, Mayor Robert Mezzo told the Board of Mayor and Burgesses Tuesday night.

Mezzo said Controller Wayne McAllister had given him that information earlier Tuesday, but it was not clear whether the amount included a surplus of more than $200,000 from the school system.

Last year’s municipal budget neared $49 million, and the school budget was $57 million.

The money will go into the reserve fund unless the Joint Boards of Finance and Mayor and Burgesses decide to spend it on something else, Mezzo said. Officials are considering giving the school board its surplus back to spend on technological upgrades.

The borough last year had a $780,000 surplus from municipal and school accounts combined, and the money went into the reserve fund.

Mezzo said he was happy to have money left over from the budget year that ended June 30.

“We budget conservatively, so we should have a small surplus,” Mezzo said.

Some of the leftover money came from accounts related to snow removal, which were not spent down because of this year’s mild winter, Mezzo said.

The borough had budgeted more than $300,000 for winter overtime, snow removal, sand and salt.

In contrast, the borough overspent its snow removal accounts by $740,000 after the blizzards of early 2011, an amount that came from the fiscal year that ended in June 2011.

Last year’s surplus does not include more than $360,000 from the contingency fund and fire department retirement accounts that will be used to settle overruns in other accounts.

The borough board Tuesday referred to the joint boards the transfer of almost $44,000 from the fire department to the contingency account, which held $316,000 at the end of last year.

The borough had allocated $375,000 last year for its contingency fund. The fire department money had been allocated for retirement payouts, but the anticipated number of employees did not retire, Mezzo said.

“This is the smallest amount in recent history that we’ve had to transfer into contingency,” Mezzo said.

Some of the biggest overruns last year include more than $156,000 in consultant and service fees for the Water Pollution Control Board, which is working with a company called Alternative Resources Inc. to comply with anticipated federal mandates.

Discussions are also being held between the borough, Middlebury and Veolia, the company that runs the wastewater treatment plant on Cherry Street, over how the contract that binds them all should be interpreted, Mezzo said.

The joint boards will discuss last fiscal year’s spending in more detail at their Oct. 9 meeting.