Westchester on track to meet 2013 budget projections
Updated: March 18, 2013 1:18AM
WESTCHESTER — Eight months into its 2013 fiscal year, Westchester expenses are in line while revenues are slightly ahead of projections, said Village Manager Janet Matthys.
“We review budget costs on a continual basis, and we’re holding down our costs to stay the course,” said Matthys.
The 2013 general-fund budget was established at $13.3 million, with revenue projections representing a 3.77 percent increase from 2012. Overall expenses for 2013 in the general fund were set at $13.94 million, up from $13.49 million in 2012. The villages five funds include General, Utility, Motor Fuel, E-911 and Hotel/Motel Tax.
Audit results for fiscal year 2012 were presented by village auditor Daniel Berg, a partner with Naperville-based accounting firm Sikich LLC, where he indicated expenses registered at “break even” while revenues were ahead of what had been anticipated.
Matthys said the village is not operating at a “deficit fund balance, but do have an excess of expenditures over revenues. We currently have a healthy general fund balance of $4.4 million.”
One area the village plans to explore is the evaluation and possible upgrade from its Locus central management software system, which was acquired about a decade ago, Matthys said.
“We’re looking at some government packages that might be available, and trying to determine which one is best for our situation,” she said. “We plan to obtain some quotes from vendors and see if we can work that into our budget.”
Because of the modest number of operating funds that Westchester has in its portfolio, the consensus is there’s little need to migrate to a highly-robust central management software system that has all the bells and whistles, similar to those used by several larger municipalities.
Westchester still regards its general operating fund as the backbone of operations, while other villages have established a myriad of additional funds that reflect a shift in their businesses and operations, Berg said. The auditor said migrating to a new financial management system might run the village anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000, depending on the system selected.
The board discussed retaining Sikich as its chief external auditor within a three-year contract extension, with a vote likely coming at the next board meeting Jan. 22. Trustee Walter Novak said he’s in favor of an open bidding process to “keep vendors honest and to ensure a competitive balance.”
Burkholder called Sikich competencies “unmatched, and possesses a strong knowledge base.”
If sent out for bid, Matthys said the board should avoid a lowest bid but rather consider the “lowest responsible bid.”