The Board of Finance May 13 and the Legislative Council two days later, decided to delay using a budgeted fund balance allocation to offset some projected police overtime costs for school security. At the same time, the finance board and council approved additional transfers to more than cover overtime expenses accrued since April 1.
The Bee reported last week that the Board of Selectmen approved using three sources to cover what Finance Director Robert Tait estimated could be as much as $180,000 in police school security overtime for the fiscal quarter ending June 30.
Mr Tait told the finance board that $30,000 would be reallocated to the overtime budget from funds set aside to purchase software for a Public Works Department work order system. And $50,000 would come from undesignated donations in the Sandy Hook Special Revenue Fund.
The finance board and council unanimously agreed to those transfers.
Mr Tait had also proposed using a budget amendment to increase the police overtime expenditure by $100,000 using money already budgeted to revert to the fund balance June 30.
But between the selectmen’s approval of the plan May 6, and the May 13 finance board meeting and May 15 council session, Mr Tait learned that a grant to cover police department technology purchases is likely to be awarded. That set into motion something of a domino effect, resulting in the finance board’s suggestion to maintain the fund balance allocation as originally planned.
If and when the town receives the grant award letter, Mr Tait will transfer the $170,000 back to contingency from an IT capital account. And the laptop expenditures would be transferred to a grant fund.
“This worked out very well. If we get the grant, it will preserve the budgeted contribution to the fund balance,” Mr Tait said after the finance meeting. “At the same time the $80,000 the finance board authorized puts the police overtime fund in the black.”
He said the current overtime budget was overspent by about $33,000 on May 15.