Monday, July 12, 2010

And finally ...

There were these transfers before the City Council tonight that involved transferring money to pay a settlement of $44,873.07 to former DPS Director Brendan O'Regan.

If you recall, he was removed from his position a while back by Mayor Donna Holaday.

The settlement is being paid out of funds from DPS - 40% from water, 40% from sewer and 20% from DPW/Highway.

The Council was very slick about swiftly approving all 3 transfers, but us reporter types were alert to the situation.

On another note, the water and sewer depts. combined have about $1 million in reserve funds!

Don't ask; or do ask and I'll do my best to explain.


Dan Sweeney said...

So do explain. Why do these city enterprise departments have cash and all other city departments are running in the red?


Gillian Swart said...

OK, well, according to the city auditor (Mr. Squillace), they have to maintain a reserve fund.

"FY2010 Retained Earnings must be reserved if they are to be used to fund a portion of [Sewer Dept./Water Dept.] FY 2011 budget." That's according to the transfer request ... and it also helps determine the rates, apparently.

Dan Sweeney said...

So then with fy 09 and fy 10 'reserves' there should be about $3 million in Water/ Sewer Reservs and another million or so uncollected? And the rate is stable @ $6.10 for both Newburyport and Newbury?
No wonder the Daily News has banned me from commenting on issues with the Water/ Sewer Finances.


Dan Sweeney said...

OK, so what are the limitations on 'reserve funds'? Are they earmarked to keep the rate down or to be used by lesser funded city departments in completing their mission for the taxpayers? Or ratepayers? And how can monies collected from utility bills from Newbury be invested into the Newburyport infrastructure, ie Rail Trail and burying powerlines in contaminated soil?
Why not apply a service to benefit the rate payers rather than the taxpayers or general business ventures? and yet we keep asking surrounding communities to contribute to the services we provide and bill them at a higher rate to boot!
I bet the lights that are planned on the 'rail trail' will not be subject to shut off like our residental area's are!