Moorcroft council passes annual budget
Miscalculation pauses budget discussions, but council able to move forward
July 30, 2020
The budget passed for this fiscal year was not based on an accurate carryover, Clerk/Treasurer Cheryl Schneider reported to the council at Monday night’s meeting. Schneider said she had inadvertently allocated remaining enterprise funds to the amount of $34,000 into the carryover amount for this fiscal year’s budget.
“I could have moved that at the end of the year, but if I had done that, that’s changing your total carryover amount. So we did not because that money was spent elsewhere,” she said.
The problem, according to Schneider, is that the enterprise revenues remain in the general fund throughout the fiscal year for paying salaries, etc and the remaining revenue is easily lost in the overall picture.
To overcome this issue, she plans to change procedure this year: “This year, my intent for that is to, right away, when the [investment fees] comes in, move that into the WYOSTAR account so it’s done.”
The Council digested the implications of this error. Councilman Owen Mathews then asked for clarification, “So you subsidized our general fund with our water/sewer?” Schneider confirmed that this was the case.
Mathews asked if there was a way to fix the error. Schneider explained, “Well, I don’t know if we can; if we fix it now, you’re going to change your carryover, which means you’re going to change your entire budget.” She recommended leaving this budget as is with the error and “then look for other places to cut when you get to the end of your budget so your budget will balance.”
Mathews admonished, “We haven’t kept track of it administratively. It’s been looked at as part of the general fund. We made a big mistake and shorted our enterprise funds. You’re looking at probably a year’s payment for that stuff and that’s anticipated money we were looking at for loans and stuff.”
He added that any unanticipated revenue or savings should be considered for repayment to these accounts.
Schneider provides the body with a treasurer’s report four times a year showing the revenues and expenses through the general fund. Mathews advised her to, from this point forward, break that report down to show the enterprising funds separate from the overall operating account.
“We need to make sure we keep track of that because, to me, that’s what gets us into this position. We need to have an accounting… so everybody knows what is restricted,” he said.
Smoot agreed with Mathews, saying that having all the moneys under general fund “gives us a false sense of what we have”.
Schneider agreed to the newly refined treasurer’s report and the final reading of the 2020/2021 budget was accepted as is.