Mayor Brian Arrigo and Finance Director George Anzuoni were pleased to inform the City Council on Monday night that the city is reporting the highest amount of free cash in the history of the city.
Arrigo came to the council to announce that $6,273,580 free cash was certified in the general fund and $4,940,148 was certified in the water and sewer enterprise fund.
“This is the highest certification in city history,” Anzuoni said. “The importance to all of this is when we have to deal with the financial markets.”
According to the state Department of Revenue free cash is a revenue source that results from the calculation, as of July 1, of a community’s remaining, unrestricted funds from its operations of the previous fiscal year based on the balance sheet as of June 30. It typically includes actual receipts in excess of revenue estimates and unspent amounts in departmental budget line items for the year just ended, plus unexpended free cash from the previous year.
Last year there was a free cash amount of $4.4 million but that combined fiscal year 2016 and 2015. In 2014 there was $6 million in free cash; $3.4 million in 2013; $2.8 million in 2012; $1.4 million in 2011 and $145,030 in 2010.
Arrigo asked for transfers from the free cash to stabilization funds. There was a transfer of $941,037 to the general stabilization account; $741,023 from water and sewer to the water and sewer enterprise stabilization fund and $1,254,716 transferred from free cash to the capital improvement stabilization fund, which was set up in 2017. The council approved all three transfers.
“These transfers are for our reserves,” Arrigo said. “This signifies our financial strength as a community.”
He noted that there will be capital requests to invest in municipal buildings and facilities. Funds will also help stabilize water and sewer rates
“Is this something we’re going to see a continuation of in years to come,” asked Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe.
“It is a tax savings to the public,” Anzuoni said. “It depends on the year and depends on the revenue.”
Councillor and former Mayor Dan Rizzo asked about last year’s combined certification. Anzuoni said the city could not get to it by deadline and the Department of Revenue suggested rolling it over.
“I just couldn’t figure out the anomaly that year that we couldn’t certify,” Rizzo said.
Councillor Anthony Zambuto said that even with the rollover the 2016 figure was not a big one.