The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

News

March 29, 2006

Village finances remain secure

Auditor tells board to be prudent with future budgeting

An annual review presented by an independent auditor found the Village of Medina’s financial situation to be stable.

James J. Parks, a managing partner for Fox & Company LLP out of Tonawanda gave the news to the village board Tuesday during a 30 minute presentation.

“At this point we’re in good shape,” he said.

Parks presented statistics based off annual figures ending May 31, 2005. But he cautioned the board to be careful when planning future budgets because of rising pension costs, previously covered by the state, that are now being passed on to local municipalities.

“Villages and towns are paying more,” Parks said. “It’s not so much what you’re doing, but what you’re going to have to do. When you budget state aid ... it can throw your budget off. The state has surprised quite a few municipalities by cutting back.”

Parks also informed the board that based on the 2004-2005 statistics, overall funds remain below previous levels.

“Your fund balance is as low as it’s been in many years,” he said.

Mayor Howard Lake, who was on hand for his last meeting as head of the village, gave a reason for the lesser figure.

“The Pass Thru project kind of hurt us with that,” he said.

Clerk Peg Crowley agreed with Lake, but said the road improvements were necessary.

“The Pass Thru Project had quite an effect on the overall fund balance,” she said.

In other news, the board:

n Approved an agreement to sell potable water to Western New York Energy LLC , for use in its day-to-day functions for a proposed ethanol plant. The company will use well water for industrial uses.

n Approved revisions to a Small Cities Grant, which re-allocated different sums of money to three projects. The new requested funding stands at $245,297 for additional parking near the downtown business district, $159,500 for improvements to building facades along Main Street and $195,203 for stabilization of the building formerly housing Starlite Cleaners, which is a proposed site for a visitor’s center and museum.

n Approved putting portions of three state highways under village control including areas on Prospect and North streets, along with North Main Street.

n Passed a motion for a village contribution of $1,000 to the Medina Tourism Committee and Canal Task Force for 10,000 brochures that will be handed out during the Thomas the Train event in early May.

Contact Michael Regan at (585) 798-1400, Ext. 2226.

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