GLOVERSVILLE — The Gloversville Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners has approved a $2.49 million budget for the 2018 fiscal year.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved the budget, which features a $168,105 deficit that the agency will need to make up with the use of fund balance.
Interim Executive Director Daniel Towne said for 2017, the GHA was facing a $235,000 deficit following increased fees for attorney’s, auditing and administrative fees.
Terminal Leave payments for the 2018 fiscal year also increased from $2,000 in 2017 to $25,000 in 2018.
Towne said that money is used for retirements. The agency needs to pay out items, such as remaining vacation time, but the agency does not pay for unused sick time an employee has accrued. He said that money can also include severance package money.
Towne said that monetary increase is due in part to former-executive director Timothy Mattice, who the board accepted a resolution relating to his term of employment and appointment, and currently on paid leave employee, Sheri McCloskey.
Towne said he expects this budgetary line to decrease to previous levels of around $2,000 in the 2019 fiscal year budget.
The GHA’s insurance amount increased as well, going from $77,682 to $114,430 in 2018. Towne said this was due to trouble in finding an insurance carrier to cover the agency’s public officials liability insurance. Towne said the GHA has tentatively agreed to a proposal from Mang Insurance for public officials insurance of $25,925. He said previously the agency was paying just under $3,500.
“Because of some of the issues that have transpired over the past year, this is the best quote that we received,” he said.
Towne said he is hopeful that some of these costs will go down next year as things at the agency level out.
“We do have a $168,000 deficit. However, if things change during the course of this year, a lot of those expenses, legal, insurance… once those issues are finally resolved we expect those costs to go down,” he said.
Towne said an additional expense is that there are currently two executive directors on the payroll, himself, who returned in July 2015, and Mattice, who was put on paid administrative leave on July 20. Towne said the agency has also budgeted for a new executive director sometime in 2018.
“Those costs in the personnel will also decline in 2018,” Towne said.
The agency did see some account lines decrease in cost between 2017 and 2018.
The budgetary amounts for both legal expenses and accounting fees decreased by $19,500 and $25,478, respectively.
Towne said legal fees won’t need to be expended because the issues with Mattice’s tenure at the agency have been resolved.
“We don’t expect to be dealing with as many legal issues as we have been coping with for the past year,” Towne said. “We just don’t feel our expenses are going to be as much as they previously were.”
Towne said the higher accounting fees were due to the person who was doing the job was place on administrative leave earlier in the year. He said an outside agency was brought on to deal with the agency’s work.
He said now that the senior account clerk is back on the job, they no longer need the accounting firm.
“We are doing those accounting and bookkeeping functions in house,” he said.
The GHA also saw an increase in grant funding. Towne said the GHA applies yearly for a Capital Fund Program grant for modernization and capital projects around the GHA.
Towne said within that grant, the GHA is allowed to take some of the funds for operations. The latest grant was for $380,000, so the GHA was able to set aside around $76,000 in administrative money.
“We are allowed to take 20 percent of our Capital Fund program for administration and place it into our operating budget,” Towne said.
Towne said Wednesday that the agency is looking to get $700,000 in an operating subsidy that was recaptured from the agency in 2013. He the funds should be returned to the agency from the Department of Housing and Urban Development following a settlement.
Towne said GHA and several other agencies were part of a lawsuit that was recently decided in the housing authority’s favor.
Towne said in 2012, HUD decided that housing authorities with what they called “excessive reserves” had funding from the Annual Contributions Contract pulled back to make them use their reserves.
“They did not give us a HUD subsidy that we have a contract with them for,” Towne said.
Towne said the housing agencies involved in the suit alleged that HUD violated their contract by not disbursing the funds to help operate.
When the HUD money comes in, it will raise the current fund balance, which stands at $1.6 million.
“When that money is given back to us, then our reserve is going to bump up to $2.3 million,” Towne said.
Kerry Minor can be reached at [email protected]