Re­port­pro­jects$1.5mil­lion­d­eficit

The Colonial - - FRONT PAGE - By Dan Clark

dclark@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com

The de­layed sale of the Park­house Ge­ri­atric Fa­cil­ity and a win­ter of heavy snow­fall are to blame for a pro­jected deficit of about $1.5 mil­lion by year’s end, ac­cord­ing to the county’s sec­ond quar­ter fis­cal re­port.

The county is pro­jected to end 2014 with about $381 mil­lion in rev­enue and more than $382 mil­lion in ex­pen­di­tures, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, which was re­leased by the county com­mis­sion­ers Aug. 7. Build­ing sales gave the county an un­bud­geted boost of $4.9 mil­lion in rev­enues, but per­son­nel and build­ing man­age­ment costs added an ad­di­tional $6.5 mil­lion in ex­pen­di­tures.

One of the un­ex­pected ex­pen­di­tures was the Park­house Ge­ri­atric Fa­cil­ity in Up­per Prov­i­dence Town­ship. The sale was an­tic­i­pated to close at the end of 2013, but Park­house stayed un­der the county’s con­trol un­til March of this year. Park­house cost the county nearly $2 to $4 mil­lion per year while the county con­trolled the fa­cil­ity, ac- cord­ing to the re­port, and op­er­at­ing it from Jan­uary to March of this year cost $1.1 mil­lion. The com­mis­sion­ers passed the bud­get in De­cem­ber think­ing the fa­cil­ity would be sold by the end of 2013.

De­spite a deficit from op­er­at­ing Park­house un­til March 6, the county

ex­pects to re­al­ize $4.3 mil­lion in rev­enues from the fa­cil­ity. The re­port states this amount is con­sis­tent with pre­vi­ous years. An ad­di­tional $600,000 comes from rev­enues gen­er­ated by the county gov­ern­ment.

The un­ex­pected se­ries of win­ter storms also cost the county. Of the $900,000 spent on cleanup, to­tal per­son­nel costs — largely in over­time and comp time — made up more than $800,000. A “sig­nif­i­cant num­ber” of em­ploy­ees in corrections and emer­gency com­mu­ni­ca­tions con­tin­ued to work and re­ceived over­time while the rest of the county shut down be­cause of the in­clement weather.

The of­fice of the recorder of deeds is pro­jected to end the year with a rev­enue de­cline of $763,505 due to a 16.7 per­cent de­crease in homes sold in the first two quar­ters of 2014.

“Quar­terly re­ports present op­por­tu­ni­ties for the county to iden­tify un­ex­pected di­ver­gences from the bud­get and re­vise the year-end out­look,” the re­port states. “The county is then able to make to make mid-year ad­just­ments with the goal of achiev­ing a bal­anced bud­get by year-end as con­tem­plated in the adopted 2014 bud­get.”

The county will re­al­ize $16.5 mil­lion from the sale of Park­house and the Hu­man Ser­vices Cen­ter by year’s end. This will re­port­edly bring the county’s fund bal­ance to $38.9 mil­lion by the end of the year, which is a $15 mil­lion in­crease from the end of 2013. The end­ing fund bal­ance is equal to 10.2 per­cent of rev­enues for 2014, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

On June 30, the county trans­ferred $877,099 to the pen­sion fund. The county is required to make four quar­terly pay­ments to the An­nual Required Con­tri­bu­tion. This will be the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year the county will be able to make th­ese required pay­ments. Last year was the first time since 2007 that the county had been able to make the pay­ments, ac­cord­ing to Con­troller Ste­wart Green­leaf Jr.

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