The Village of Maybrook seems to have come a long way since earlier this year when New York State issued an audit of village finances, criticizing “unrealistic” revenue estimates, decreased general fund balances and deficits in various funds.
The village auditing firm of CPA Nugent & Haeussler gave a mostly rosy report of its 2019-2020 audit of Maybrook finances, pointing to various improvements in the areas the State criticized.
Noting that “2020 is not your typical year,” Nugent & Haeussler auditor Justin Wood ran through the improvements during the Village Board’s recent on-line meeting. His audit ran through the end of the village fiscal year on May 31.
“The Mayor and Village Board did a great job in setting itself up for the future,” Wood said. “The village is performing well.”
Wood noted that sales tax revenues (which the County shares with its villages, towns and cities) were $26,000 over budget. State and federal aid revenues were up by more than $22,000. Expenditures were down $163,000, just over six percent.
“It was a super mild winter,” Wood noted, accounting for a 26 percent decrease in the public works budget.
The general fund balance was up 17 percent and the village has adopted a formal policy mandating that at least ten percent of the budget must be maintained in the fund balance. Mayor Dennis Leahy added that the Village’s current funds balance totals $463,026, a figure Wood characterized as “trending in the right direction”.
While Wood said the water fund is in good shape, he found deficits in the sewer and refuse funds. He recommended a refuse tax increase for the 2021-2022 year to erase the approximate $2,000 refuse deficit. He noted there were already tax rate increases in the sewer fund, but they won’t take effect until 2021. So he recommended a “wait and see” approach there to erase the approximate $108,000 deficit.
He ended his report by noting the village’s $2.7 million equity in assets and said, “The Village is performing well.”
Leahy was pleased with the audit, adding that the previous State audit was the result of the 2008-2012 economic recession, construction of a new sewer plant and taxes were kept low.
“Now,” Leahy said, “we’re heading in the right direction.”
Village Board members were pleased with the audit’s conclusions and the village’s fiscal status.
“What a great job with our expenditures,” Trustee Daryl Capozzoli said, “and to be sitting where we are now.”
Joseph E. Dineen Award
During the meeting, the Village Board also awarded Marie Barnett the Joseph E. Dineen Award, given to a resident who goes above and beyond as a volunteer. Wife of Village Trustee James Barnett, Mrs. Barnett has been a Church of the Assumption CCD religious teacher since 1976, leading second graders to their First Communion. She was a Pack 236 Cub Scout den mother 1980-85; a Boy Scout Troop 236 committee member since 1985; and is a long-time volunteer for the Assumption food donation program in cooperation with the Town of Montgomery Food Pantry.
“Many who know her,” Mayor Leahy said, “know that she is not a person of many words. However, her actions speak volumes in her passion of working with children and helping others in her community.”
All Village Board members congratulated Mrs. Barnett, as Deputy Mayor called it “very well deserved.”
“Marie is a silent partner in lots of things,” he said. “She should be sainted.”
Trustee Barnett noted, of his wife, “Marie is the strength of our family and this means a lot to our family.”
For her part, Mrs. Barnett proved she is a not a person of many words, and thanked the board “very much”.
“I really love the children,” she said.
The Village Board also recognized the Maybrook Troop 236 Scouts on its 35th anniversary with plaques to Scoutmasters Bill Giannico and Abby Williams. There was also a special presentation to Trustee Barnett who is also Emeritus Scoutmaster and Band Leader.
“Jim has devoted 35 years of his life to the Maybrook Scouting program,” Mayor Leahy said. “He has seen and mentored many young men and now young ladies through the program. I’ve known Jim for a long time. He doesn’t do it for the recognition; he does it for the pride and love he has for all the children to the troop.”
Barnett thanked the board for his award and on behalf of the troop and its current leaders.
“It is a joy to do what we do in this village,” he said.”
The board also congratulated Little Pop’s Pizza on its tenth anniversary of doing business in Maybrook.
Running for re-election
Trustees James Barnett and Kevin Greany announced, during the meeting, that they are running for re-election to the board in the March village elections. Greany said he wants to help keep the village “going in the right direction”. Barnett wants to remain on the board to “keep doing a great job for the good people of this village”.
Next Board meeting
The next meeting of the Village Board will be 7 p.m., Mon., Jan. 11. Meetings will continue to be held on-line until further notice.