Budget Purpose and Process
The purpose of this budget is to provide essential services to our community and whenever possible, improve quality of life. Financial sustainability, public safety, economic development, and maintenance of park and municipal assets continue to guide the budget as a policy document. The Town’s budget process and procedures are consistent with the guidelines set forth under RCW 35.33. Annual appropriated budgets are adopted at the fund level. The Budget may be amended as required during the fiscal year to provide for unanticipated expenses or for grant funds received during the year. Prior to amending the adopted budget, the Council holds a public hearing on the amending ordinance.
TOWN FUNDS AND BUDGET
Fund 001 – Current Expense Fund/ General Fund
The General fund is used to pay for the Town’s operating expenditures. This is the largest Town fund and generally has no funding restrictions. There are three main departments funded by the General Fund: public safety, administration and public works. Revenues include property tax, real estate excise tax, utility taxes, franchise fees, liquor taxes and vehicle tab taxes. Expenses include Police, Fire & EMS services, jail and court costs, Animal Control services, and street maintenance.
Special Revenue Funds (100):
These funds account for revenues that are legally restricted or designated to finance specific activities within the Town. Included here are the Street Fund (#101), the Contingency Fund (#103), and the Community Development Fund (#104). Beginning 2015, construction vehicle fees (heavy vehicle fees) were routed from Fund #104 directly to Street Fund (#101).
Debt Service Funds (200):
These funds account for the accumulation of resources to pay principal, interest, and related costs on general long term debt. Included here is the Bond Redemption Fund (#211) which was created to capture the LGTO Bond issued to complete the Utility Underground and Pathway Extension Project.
Capital Project Funds (300):
These funds account for financial resources designated for construction of capital projects. These projects include: park improvements, capital projects, and supplement stormwater system improvements. These funds include the Capital Improvement I Fund (#301), Capital Improvement IV Fund (#304), and Current Year Capital Improvements Fund (#311).
Enterprise Funds (400):
Enterprise funds account for operations that provide goods or services to the general public and are supported primarily through user charges. This includes the Stormwater Fund (#401).
Agency Funds (600):
The Town’s current agency funds are Street Performance Fund (#622), Wetherill Nature Preserve (#623), Agency Fund (#631), and Gifts and Bequests (#650).
Accounting Systems & Software
The Town uses the cash method as opposed to the accrual method of keeping track of the Town’s income and expenses. These two methods differ only in the timing of when transactions are credited or debited from Town accounts. Under the Town’s cash method, the revenue isn’t counted until the cash or check is physically received. Similarly, expenses are not logged or counted until they are actually paid. By using this method, the Town has an accurate picture of current revenues and expenses. The Town uses Caselle Government Accounting Software to input and track revenues and expenditures. Currently, the Town uses Permit-N-Force as the primary community development software, thereby tracking community development permits (Caselle is launching a permit module which we will evaluate).
Auditing Town Finances
The State Auditor is required to examine the affairs of the Town once every three years. The examination includes, among other things, the financial conditions and resources of the Town, whether the laws and constitution of the State are being complied with, and the methods and accuracy of the accounts and reports of the Town. Reports of the auditor’s examinations are filed with the office of the State Auditor.
Local Government Investments
It is the policy of the Town of Yarrow Point to invest public funds in a manner which provides maximum security with the highest investment return while meeting the daily cash flow demands. The Town conforms to all state and local statues governing the investment of public funds. The State Treasurer’s Office administers the Washington State Local Government Investment Pool (the “LGIP”), a fund that invests money on behalf of more than 450 cities, counties, and special taxing districts. In managing the LGIP, the State Treasurer is required to adhere to the following principles: the safety of principle, the assurance of sufficient liquidity to meet cash flow demands, and to attain the highest possible yield within the constraints of the first two goals.
On February 10th, 2015, the Town adopted Ordinance No. 656, providing for the issuance and sale of a Limited Tax General Obligation Bond in the aggregate principal amount of $750,000 to be used for utility purposes. The initial interest is 2.7% though the rate may be adjusted six years from the Date of Delivery of the bond. The Town pays semi-annual installments on the bond in the amount of $42,803.57.