6-Month Berlin Finances Reviewed

BERLIN – A six-month financial review yielded no major surprises, according to municipal staff.

On Monday, Finance Director Natalie Saleh reviewed six-month financial figures with Mayor Zack Tyndall and members of the town council.

“Overall nothing outstanding,” Saleh said.

Saleh reviewed the town’s figures for the six months ending Dec. 31, 2020. As is typical, taxes accounted for the bulk of the town’s more than $6 million in annual revenues.

“As of December we have collected $3.3 million of $4.2 budgeted,” she said. “We have another 20% to collect.”

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She said the amount of funding the town received from Worcester County exceeded what was budgeted by 37% because of CARES Act funding that had been provided.

Saleh said one area of revenues that was not at the level budgeted was impact fees. The town budgeted $30,000 in revenue from impact fees and halfway through the fiscal year has only received $4,000.

“We might not be able to collect all of them by the end of the year,” she said.

As far as expenses, the town has $6.6 million budgeted and six months in has spent close to half of that.

“I feel it’s very good,” Saleh said.

The majority of the town’s expenses, 28%, are in the police department. Administration accounts for 16% of expenses, as does capital outlay. Debt service accounts for 8% of the town’s expenses.

In sanitation, Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood said the town was spending more in landfill tipping fees.

“We attribute the higher numbers to the COVID — folks being at home,” he said.

Saleh said the water fund was not quite where the town wanted it to be, as it was currently operating at a loss. The fund’s revenues are budgeted at $777,250 for the year while expenses are expected to be $941,475.

“Hopefully the revenues will improve,” she said.

Councilman Dean Burrell said he found Monday’s report enlightening but suggested one improvement for the future. He said line items greater than $100,000 should include additional information if they were more than 10% off what was budgeted.

He said that would provide officials with more information in situations where spending or revenues were not at the expected level.

Mayor Zack Tyndall encouraged any officials with questions regarding the town’s finances to reach out to Saleh.

“If you have any questions as it relates to this or other financial matters feel free to ask,” he said. “She’s a wealth of knowledge.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.