Brookfield Trustee Dan Suttles said one of his major concerns when it comes to township finances over his six years in office has been how the carryover in the general fund – the amount of money left unspent that carries over to the next year – has been dwindling.

Suttles said he is happy that that trend ended this year.

“Our general fund has $145,000 more in carryover going into this year than going into last,” he said. “We were slowly but surely getting below to that $200,000 carryover and I was concerned because, at one point, prior to me being there, it was $600,000.”

The carryover is important, township officials have said, because that is the money available to pay salaries and other expenses at the start of the year, before new tax money starts coming in. The carryover from 2023 to 2024 in the general fund was $368,869.

The carryover was buoyed, probably, by the fact the township has federal American Rescue Plan Act funds that have covered some projects that otherwise might have been paid from the general fund, Suttles said.

The township budget is made up of many funds and each had a “decent” carryover, he said.

“We’re doing good in all our funds,” Suttles said.

The one exception is the lighting district fund. Officials have talked for years about how they need to address it, but have not come up with a solution.

In areas where there are street lights, neighboring home and business owners are assessed a fee to pay for the electricity and maintenance of the street light. The fee is attached to the property tax bill. In one lighting district — and nearly two — the fee collected no longer covers expenses because of tax delinquencies, and the general fund has been making up the difference, Suttles said.

“We can’t raise the rate in (a lighting district) because of (delinquencies),” he said.

Officials have talked with representatives of the county auditor’s office, Ohio Edison and a lawyer, with no solution in sight.

“We’re gonna push that to see if anybody has some suggestions for us,” Suttles said. “Ohio Edison says we’re in a grandfathered rate structure we don’t want to get out of, meaning, we’re paying less than we possibly would if we made changes, so we have to be careful with that.”

Major Brookfield Township appropriations for 2024, with 2023 numbers in parentheses:

  • General fund, $672,200, which includes carryover funds of $368,869 from 2023 ($635,674).
  • Motor vehicle license fund, which goes to the road department, $143,604, which includes a carryover of $68,104 ($133,234).
  • Gasoline tax fund, which goes to the road department, $292,506, which includes a carryover of $104,506 ($261,290).
  • Road and bridge fund, which goes to the road department, $1,106,201, which includes a carryover of $283,573 ($883,658).
  • Cemetery fund, $101,166, which includes a carryover of $42,166 ($121,102).
  • Police district fund, $1,157,100, which includes a carryover of $453,542 ($1,116,000).
  • Fire district fund, $1,359,925, which includes a carryover of $357,432 ($1,267,500).
  • Ambulance and emergency services fund, which goes to the fire department, $854,500, which includes a carryover of $614,662 ($763,500).

The total appropriated funds is $6,244,554, up from $6,100,515 in 2023. The total of carryover funds is $2,469,832.

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