Brookfield Township’s 2020 budget shows a stable financial position.
The $3.7 million spending plan is buoyed by more than $1 million in carry-over funds. Carryovers are used to pay the bills through the first quarter of the year until tax money starts coming from the county in April, said Fiscal Officer Dena McMullin.
The general fund had a carryover of $322,270, which is more than half of $628,196 budgeted. The general fund pays for salaries and benefits for elected officials and some staff, insurances, upkeep of township properties, property maintenance expenses and road improvement projects.
Other notable carryovers are: cemetery fund, $96,972; police department, $137,919; and fire department, $325,698. Each figure is up over the 2019 carryovers, when the total budget was $3.55 million.
Trustee Dan Suttles said he would like to talk to Fire Chief David Masirovits about creating a vehicle replacement fund and putting a portion of the carryover in that fund each year.
“If you’re gonna buy a half-a-million-dollar fire truck, it’d be nice to be able to put some money in there, set aside,” Suttles said.
Trustee Ron Haun agreed, saying that such a fund has been a topic of discussion for some time.
Trustee Gary Lees said he talked to McMullin about adding $10,000 to the property maintenance budget to cover potential lawyer’s fees and property demolition, and $7,000 to the township green budget to replace the wood floor in the gazebo with a pebble flooring.
Lees said he was OK without creating separate line items after McMullin explained that both funds are subfunds within the general fund, and she can move money within the general fund freely,.
If the trustees agree to undertake a project “I can always go elsewhere in the general fund to get it,” she said of paying for the project.
Although it had no relevance as to whether to approve the budget or not, Suttles said the quote Lees received of $7,591 from Pebble Stone to replace the gazebo floor left him with “sticker shock.”
“I know the discussion throughout the years is that’s been painted quite a few times.” Suttles said of the gazebo floor. “We can put a lot of paint on there for $7,000.”
The trustees said they will seek a second quote and further discuss the gazebo.
“I was pretty happy,” Haun said of the budget. “(McMullin) gave me enough confidence that we’re sitting decently in our general fund to where if the two areas that Gary brought up are concerns, and if we have any other projects, it seems like we’re sitting pretty comfortably.”
The trustees approved the budget on March 31, and trustees complimented the department heads for how they manage their money.
The meeting was notable in that it was the first one they have held via electronic means. Suttles, Haun and McMullin met at the administration building, socially distancing themselves from each other, and Lees participated over the phone. The meeting was broadcast on Facebook Live and can be viewed at the Brookfield Township Facebook page.
Budget by the numbers
Here is a breakdown of the major fund appropriations in Brookfield Township’s 2020 budget, with 2019 numbers in parentheses:
General fund, $628,196 ($622,005.)
Motor vehicle license tax, which goes to the Brookfield Road Department, $99,130 ($100,921.)
Gasoline tax, which goes to the road department, $242,644 ($140,196.) The increase reflects last year’s hike in the gas tax by the state.
Road and bridge fund, $271,271 ($273,743.)
Cemetery fund, $156,732 ($131,993.)
Lighting assessment fund, $36,058 ($45,177.)
Police district fund, $954,260 ($880,345.)
Fire district fund, $944,427 ($978,347.)
Ambulance and emergency service fund, which goes to the Brookfield Fire Department, $334,750 ($340,750.)
Senior citizen van fund, $14,616 ($15,648.)
Community park improvement fund, $12,055 ($8,046.)