WALLINGFORD — The town finished last fiscal year with a roughly $1.6 million deficit, according to a recent financial audit.
As a result, the town’s general fund balance, or “Rainy Day Fund,” decreased from $27.8 million to $26.2 million. The audit was prepared by the Blum Shapiro accounting firm of West Hartford, completed in late December and published on the town website Jan. 11.
The audit contains two sets of financial reports: the generally accepted accounting principals, or GAAP, results and the general fund budgetary actual results. GAAP measures revenues and expenses, or operational results.
The GAAP method found town expenditures exceeded revenues by $1.549 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018, with actual revenues at $158.11 million and actual expenditures at $159.71 million. The town finished the 2016-17 fiscal year with a $1.4 million deficit.
According to the general fund budgetary actual results, the deficit was $1.6 million.
Despite the deficit, expenditures were $3.018 million less than the approved budget of $162.728 million. The unspent funds included $753,000 from the Board of Education, $603,000 from the Finance and Police departments and $395,000 in benefits from open positions.
Town Comptroller Jim Bowes said that the loss of $1.5 million in revenue from Bristol-Myers Squibb, formerly the town’s largest taxpayer, had a major impact on town finances on the 2017-18 budget.
According to a summary by Bowes, as of June 30, 2018, the general fund had $142,000 as a non-spendable fund balance, which is made up of prepaid amounts that are waiting to be spent; $2.333 million as a committed fund balance, which is made up of amounts approved in prior budget years that carry forward into 2018-19; $6.2 million as an assigned fund balance, which is the amount approved to balance the 2018-19 budget; $480,000 also in the assigned fund balance for both government and education purchase orders that were not completed as of June 30, 2018; and $17.126 million in the unassigned fund balance, of which about $16 million is retained for credit rating purposes.