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Staff cuts spending by $500K
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 08 October 2008 13:00

Town of Camp Verde employees were able to cut spending by nearly $500,000 last fiscal year, said Town Accountant Lisa Elliott, helping to manage a budget shortfall that forced town leaders to tighten the money belt.

Because of a drop in expected tax revenue and a previous budget process that Town Manager Michael Scannell called incomplete, the town had to find a way to fill a $1.8 million hole; departments that were able to curtail their expenses helped out a great deal, Elliott said.

According to preliminary figures, the town’s general fund had excess revenue of $360,000.

The previous budget for 2007-08 had counted on $6.7 million in spending before the shortfall was discovered. Continued declining revenues led to the town passing a $5.3 million budget for 2008-09.

Despite the shortfall, the town was still able to end the fiscal year on a “good note,” Elliott said.

But the town is still feeling the sting of an underperforming economy.

Scannell told the Town Council last week that the “lack of economic activity will manifest itself” when the numbers for the first quarter of the current fiscal year [July through September] come in.

Still, the town continues to work on improving its financial system, found by an auditor last year to be severely lacking in adequate internal controls.
To that end, Scannell and Elliot have been working on a new financial operations guide that will clearly define how the town handles its money.
“It’ll help everything run a little smoother,” Scannell said.

Mayor Tony Gioia said he was pleased with the work being done to overhaul the town’s finances.

“The council members have been looking for this type of action for a long time,” Gioia said.


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