Idyllwild Fire Finance Committee still waiting for adequate reports

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ifpdTwo weeks past the end of the fourth month of the current fiscal year, the financial consultant for the Idyllwild Fire Protection District provided more data for the first three months of fiscal 2016-17.

Commissioner Nancy Layton, also a member of the finance committee that was to review the current financial data said, “October is not complete.” She hopes the October and November financial reports will be available for the committee’s December meeting.

According to Layton, the new accounting software is not as user friendly as the committee and staff expected. This unexpected consequence is proving difficult for Rob Dennis, the consultant, and his ability to provide timely reports to the committee.

With respect to the first quarter data, Layton recommended that the committee tell the full commission that “… the financial status has been reviewed, but there are too many questions to approve them now.”

According to the preliminary reports, expenses were $113,000 greater than revenue for the three months from July 1 through Sept. 30. This was about a 50-percent increase from the reports provided to the commission in October.

But a deficit at this time of year is not necessarily a major concern. The county does not receive its first property tax receipts until December, which is when it begins to distribute this money to school and special districts.

IFPD has received its $400,000 request for an advance of the property taxes to help with payroll and other expenses until receiving its property tax receipts next month.

The committee also did an early review of the Measure W results. This was the proposal to increase its parcel fees from $65 to $130. As of Friday evening, Nov. 18, the “Yes” votes totaled 765 or 57.3 percent of the total 1,354 votes cast on the measure. Unfortunately, passage of the measure required two-thirds of the voters’ support.

According to the county registrar of voters, about 74,000 ballots remain to be counted.

“I don’t think it will make a difference,” Layton lamented. “The apathy shown by the citizens, it was such a negative election all the way down to the propositions. I’m not surprised nor pleased with the results.”

Committee Chair Calvin Gogerty recognized that the committee would need to address the result in future meetings. “Either we find a way to increase revenues or reduce expenditures, or the capital improvement program really gets hit,” he said.

Specific recommendations and plans were not discussed at the meeting.

Gogerty ended the meeting sadly announcing he did not yet have any recommendations to fill the two vacant seats on the committee.

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