Water & Sewer Authority Accounting Modified

Seeking to eliminate what he called the “cumbersome” way the town accounts for administrative work being done for the Water & Sewer Authority, Finance Director Robert Tait sought and received Board of Selectmen approval to change the way the finance office handles its salary-related reporting for budgetary purposes.

Mr Tait told selectmen September 3 that up to now, the $120,000 in annual services provided by town Finance Department staffers to the Water & Sewer Authority were broken out of his department’s budget lines and designated in the authority’s budget. A portion of town staffers’ benefits were also proportionately designated and broken out in the budget documents.

“The best way to do this is to have full salaries in the budget, and to create a revenue account,” Mr Tait explained. “This way we can invoice [the authority] for the costs, including an annual escalating CPI rate.”

The annual increase will be tied to Consumer Price Index increases beginning in 2014.

The changes in the accounting process and an increase of $8,664 to account for the bulk of Water & Sewer Authority work being performed by the assistant finance director were both approved in a two-phase set of motions — first creating the designated fund to accept authority payments, and then approving the special appropriation of $120,000 for the current year’s work.

“This will have no impact on taxpayers,” First Selectman Pat Llodra confirmed. Mr Tait replied that the changes will also have no influence on water and sewer fees.

According to supporting documentation, the $120,000 in expenditures are broken down as follows:

*Tax Collector – salaries & wages – full time $10,177

*Tax Collector – salaries & wages – part time $5,101

*Tax Collector – Social Security contributions $1,169

*Tax Assessor – salaries & wages – part time $19,871

*Tax Assessor – Social Security contributions $1,520

*Finance – salaries & wages – full time $14,268  **

*Finance – Social Security contributions $1,092

*Highway – salaries & wages – full time $32,068

*Highway – Social Security contributions $2,453

*Highway – retirement contributions $2,347

**Contingency $29,934

The funding will now be credited to the revenues line in the general fund account as charges for services.

The tax collector handles billing and collections, bill inquiries, and adjustments, while the Finance Department handles accounts payable, payroll, accounting, reporting and annual financial reporting including auditor fees.

Public works handles facility management, planning, filing, clerical, and risk management services including administering property and general liability insurance.

According to Mr Tait, the concept was previously approved by the Water & Sewer Authority.

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