2016-01-22 / Community

Town decides to bank unspent funds

By Wm. Duke Harrington Staff Writer

KENNEBUNK — As it finalizes the books for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015, Kennebunk finds itself with $1.57 million from its general fund committed to various accounts for the current year.

That amount includes $133,135 left unspent by various groups and in key accounts, which selectmen agreed at their Jan. 12 meeting to roll over into the current year.

Selectman Ed Karytko asked if it makes sense to continue appropriating funds from property taxes to these groups if they leave thousands of dollars unspent at the end of the year. However, Finance Director Joel Downs noted that much of the surplus includes money raised by the groups during the year.

The West Kennebunk Village Committee, in particular, gets “a tremendous number of donations,” Downs said, at which point Karytko said, “Well, then, more power to them.”

The West Kennebunk Village Committee received $2,292 in donations during the 2014-2015 fiscal year, added to its town appropriation of $2,000 and money left over from the 2013-2014 fiscal year, less $4,847 spent, left $2,555 to carry-forward into the current year, to be added to the $2,000 given again this year by the town.

Carry-forward for other groups included: Conservation/open space commission ($9,715), Lower Village committee ($4,486), tree committee ($3,061), community gardens ($2,922) and the energy efficiency committee ($1,809). The festival committee had no carry forward as it is now financed though TIF funds.

The largest of the reserve accounts enjoying carry-forward dollars is the heating assistance fund. It received $18,879 in donations and money collected in parking tickets during the 2014-2015 fiscal year, during which $17,764 was spent helping low-income Kennebunk residents heat their homes. Along with money left over from previous years, that left $16,676 left to roll over into the current fiscal year.

Other reserve accounts with unspent money rolled into the current budget included: property tax assistance ($9,372), general government training ($7,851), computer training ($11,690), community development training ($5,195), geographic information system ($8,456), selectmen’s operational contingency fund ($15,419), bus reserves ($33,927).

Other dollars in the town’s general fund balance which have been spoken for during the current fiscal year include $1.29 million in capital projects approved by voters at the 2015 annual town meeting, $100,000 in other special funding assigned by voters at that session, $44,000 for to pay for matching grant requirements (approved by voters at the 2007 town meeting) and $4,833 for the town’s 2020 bicentennial celebration, carried forward since 2008 per the approval of town meeting voters that year.

Staff Writer Wm. Duke Harrington can be reached at news@kennebunkpost.com.

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