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Perryville has $1.3 million surplus, audit says

A representative with the accounting firm Weyrich, Cronin and Sorra reported that the town of Perryville ran a surplus of $1.3 million for the financial year that ended June 30.

Reporting on the town's audit for the spending year, the representative told town officials Tuesday the annual review contained "no material problems with the numbers," though there were two findings that needed correcting.

During Tuesday's town meeting, Karen Dojan, of Weyrich, Cronin and Sorra, briefly went over highlights of the town's audit, at the encouragement of Mayor Jim Eberhardt.

Dojan told the Board of Commissioners, as well as the 15 or so residents in attendance, the town's net assets for the previous fiscal year totaled $51.9 million, with liabilities at $19 million, making the total assets $38 million. It was also found that the town has a favorable balance of $1.3 million, a surplus, meaning town officals had $1.3 million more in revenues than that expenditures.

The accounting firm came up with two findings, Dojan explained, that were then corrected: "misstatements" with the financial statement presentation and an issue with the collateralization of funds, which, according to Dojan was a misunderstanding with PNC Bank, whom the town has accounts with. The town also established an action plan which described how they would prevent from such mistakes occurring again in the future.

Eberhardt asked Dojan, "Would the firm be in a position to do a mid-year review to make sure we're on track with that action plan?" Dojan replied that the findings in Perryville's audit were not extraordinary and the firm doesn't "do an audit for a town where we don't make any adjustments." The firm would be available, however, if the town had any questions regarding the action plan.

 

Pier project update

 

A pay request for $171,317.60 was approved by the Board of Town Commissioners for the Perryville pier project, though not unanimously. The project, on the Susquehanna River at Rodgers Tavern, which had been on hold since August, re-started construction in early November.

The funds, town administrator Denise Breder explained, had been previously approved by the town board and was "nothing over and above" what was already budgeted.

Commissioner Michael Dawson asked Breder if the funds came from the federal government or the town. She responded that it was a mix of the two, but wasn't sure of the amounts from each entity. She then reiterated that the funds were "nothing that hasn't already been budgeted."

The board voted to approve the pay request with Dawson opposing the payment.

Parade and Autumn Fest

The town will foot the outstanding bill for the town's annual Autumn Fest and parade, which the Greater Perryville Chamber of Commerce spearheaded this year.

The remaining $2,415 for the event was discussed at the board's work session in November and whether the town should pay the entire amount, or if the responsibility should lie with the Chamber of Commerce. The town had previously budgeted $4,800 for the festival and parade.

Commissioner Michelle Linkey made a motion to approve the entire amount of $2,415, as long as there was some sort of agreement or memorandum of understanding completed between the board and chamber of commerce within three months that spells out who will be responsible for what for next year's event to prevent the same issue from arising.

The payment was approved by Linkey, Eberhardt and Commissioner Barbara Brown, while Dawson voted against the motion and Commissioner Alan Fox abstained.

Train crossing issues

As was requested by Eberhardt during November's work session, Cathy McCardell, Perryville's administrative supervisor, presented to the board more information about train signaling requirements at public crossings.

A resident who has lived on Frenchtown Road for more than 20 years had requested that the town look into what it would take to designate a railroad crossing near her home to be a "quiet zone," or an area where the train wouldn't be allowed to blow its whistle.

McCardell reported that train company, Norfolk Southern, requires their trains to have two long, one short and then one long blast of the horn at every public crossing, beginning at least one-quarter mile away.

"If the train's running slow, it's going to be more annoying," McCardell explained about the nuisance of the train signals. It could cost up to $700,000 to create a quiet zone, she later said.

Budget and banking

The board of commissioners also approved a resolution that included several budget amendments.

Amendments approved at part of the resolution include recognizing funds donated to the outreach program for $840; increasing the fiscal year 2012 budget by $861 to include the actual amount of a grant to the outreach program from the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention; reversing a previously approved budget amendments that gave emergency funding to the program now that other sources of funding have been received; modifications for the fiscal year 2012 budget for the local impact grant funds, which included infrastructure reimbursement to Penn National Gaming, owners of the Hollywood Casino in Perryville.

A decision was made that $4.5 million in town funds will now be put into CDs with bank NBRS, rather than a money market account, as was previously approved by the board during the August town meeting.

The board's original intention for the money market account, Eberhardt explained was to "garner whatever interest we could." When the country's credit rating fell, however, the town "couldn't get the interest rate we thought" they would receive, he said.

Moving the funds to CDs, Eberhardt went on, would "get the best returns" for the town, while still keeping the money liquid.

The board approved a bid from Aero Energy for the town's heating, fuel and propane maintenance needs. Aero came in with the cheapest bid with $3.26 a gallon for oil, $1.99 per gallon of propane and a $298 per propane tank location maintenance fee.

Other actions

In other business during Tuesdays' Perryville town meeting, the board of commissioners unanimously approved a resolution that will amend a mapping mistake to the official town zoning map, which mistakenly zoned the Richmond Hills Senior apartments as R-1, low-density residential dwellings, instead of R-3, where multiple-family dwellings usually reside.

A request from the Good Shepherd School to use the park and pavilion, as well as having their fees waived for their 5K event on May 19, 2012, was approved.

After discussing the quotes from four different companies for online payments services through the town's website during last month's work session, the board passed a motion to have FIS provide those services for residents who wish to pay their water and sewer bills online.

The recommendation for FIS came from town employee Amy Parker, who presented the bids from Edmunds and Associates, FIS, NBRS or PNC during the work session. Parker explained that receiving services from FIS was at the least cost to the town and was compatible with their current software.

Dawson asked Parker if citizens had been asking for the online option to pay bills, and she replied, "Yes. A great deal."

Dawson then asked if residents knew they would be charged a fee to use the service. Parker said that it would be clear a convenience fee would be charged, but residents could still pay with a check or however they currently pay their bills.

A dedication of public infrastructure at Frenchtown Crossing to the town was approved.

At the same, the board also approved to change the speed limit in that area to 15 miles per hour from 25.

The town will return a $22,000 EmPower Energy grant to the U.S. Department of the Treasury after being unable to find a project that fit either the grant's rules and criteria nor the funds and resources to provide for a suitable project the grant would have been used toward.

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