Sunday, March 24, 2019

Town Council - Recap of March 20 - great reading in the Auditor's Report

Two take aways for me from the Town Council meeting held, Wednesday, March 20 were 

(1) the breadth of offerings by the Recreation Dept and how such a great value that is to the residents of Franklin 
(2) the depth of information in one place for the finances of Franklin for FY 2018.

The presentation document shared by Ryan Jette at the Council meeting is shown here. Page by page, the number of program offerings, the total involvement of the community, the minimum cost to the community (all funded by the fees for each program). 

If you are not taking advantage of one or more of the Recreation Dept programs, what are you looking for? Seriously, raise the question, they have shown to be expanding to meet the needs over the years, it may very well be something to happen.

Financial Audit Report

  • An audit report can be dry reading. 

First and foremost, Franklin has a good report; there are no issues, the auditors found that Franklin's processing and accounting is all in good order. We are one of the 20% of MA communities to get such a clean report. We do have a lot of good folks working for the Town that make this happen and be thankful for.

  • An audit report does contain lots of great information.
In rounded numbers, $74M of the $144M revenue the Town sees comes from property taxes. $6M from excise taxes. $8M for charges for services provided. $48M from grants and contributions. The bulk of the 48M is state funding. Half of our overall revenue comes from property taxes. We could not raise sufficient funding from either the excise taxes or services we provide (even if we could try).  See pages 6, 7 and 8 for these numbers.

The unassigned fund balance on Page 9 amounts to 9.8% and is a good number to have. This is money that Franklin has in its 'savings' account, that is set aside for special purposes. $1.5M of that was used to balance the FY 2019 budget.

Page 10 highlights the general fund spending.

Page 11 shows our overall Capital Asset position. How much is all the land and buildings Franklin owns really worth?

Page 11 and 12 also provide a history of the Stabilization fund balances since the 1990's. What have we done with the money? The key answers are provided there, year by year.

In among the "Notes to the Financial Statements" which begins on Page 26, the definition of a capital asset and the depreciation schedule is found on pages 29-30. 

In addition:
  • The Norfolk County Retirement System is covered beginning on page 44
  • The Mass Teachers Retirement System is covered beginning on page 49
  • Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) is covered beginning page 52

My notes reported live during the meeting can be found
Recreation Director Ryan Jette presenting to the Town Council
Recreation Director Ryan Jette presenting to the Town Council

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