The purpose of this article is to:
Adopt rules governing the Town of West Hartford in its proceedings for administering the financial affairs of the Town.
Establish responsibility for the tasks related to budget preparation, administration and control.
Establish the basis for maintenance of the Town's accounts and financial reporting.
Establish procedures governing the controls and collection of cash.
Provide for establishing and defining the various funds of the Town and to prescribe procedures governing the transfer and borrowing of moneys between such funds.
Require the submission of a balanced budget based on terms defined in this article.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- That part of an appropriation which may be set aside for encumbrances of expenditures during a period of less than one fiscal year in length, as established by the Director of Finance.
- An authorization granted by the Town Council, by ordinance or resolution, to make expenditures and to incur obligations for specific purposes.
- CAPITAL BUDGET
- A plan of proposed capital improvements and the means of financing said improvements.
- CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT
- Any physical improvement, including any preliminary studies, plans or surveys relative thereto; the acquisition of property for permanent public purposes; equipment necessary for the operation of any public improvement when first erected or acquired; major alterations or repairs to existing properties, including land and any improvements thereon; the acquisition of major pieces of equipment; and other appropriate purposes having a lasting impact or duration which the Town Manager may propose.
- CHARACTER CLASSIFICATION OF EXPENDITURES
- A grouping of expenditures on the basis of the nature of goods or services purchased, as follows:
- Obligations in the form of purchase orders, contracts or salary commitments which are chargeable to an appropriation and for which a part of the appropriation is reserved.
- FUND BALANCE
- The fiscal year end excess of a fund's assets over liabilities. Reserves shall refer to that portion of a fund balance that is not appropriable for expenditure or is legally segregated for a specific future use.
- OPERATING BUDGET
- The comprehensive plan of municipal and school current operations, including an estimate of proposed expenditures for the fiscal year, the proposed means of providing revenues to match the proposed expenditures and a description of services and programs to be provided for the ensuing fiscal year.
- An examination of a proposed financial transaction for the purpose of determining fund sufficiency and legal and administrative propriety prior to approval of the transaction.
The budget shall constitute a complete financial and program plan and shall conform to modern budgetary practices. It shall include, in addition to the requirements specified in the Town Charter, the requirements specified in § 18-17 of this article.
The operating budget shall include the general fund and special revenue funds, trust funds, enterprise and intragovernmental service funds when these latter funds affect budgetary operations as provided for in this article. These shall be integrated with the general fund for the purpose of displaying them in the most clear and concise manner possible in accordance with the general regulations governing accounting procedures and definitions set forth in this article and by regulations applying specifically to federal and state grant revenues.
Should the head of a department, commission, board, office or agency fail to submit estimates of expenditures and revenue as provided by Charter, the Town Manager shall cause to be prepared such estimates for the department, commission, board, office or agency.
The Town Manager may revise departmental, commission, board, office or agency estimates, as may be deemed advisable, except that no item of appropriation for debt service shall be reduced below the amount certified as necessary by the Director of Finance, and the appropriation for pension contribution shall not be less than that certified by the Pension Board.
The Town Manager may require attendance at budget hearings of heads of departments or any other officials of any department, commission, board, office or agency of the Town and may require the giving by them of such explanations as they are called upon to give or as they desire to offer in respect to items of requested appropriations or estimated revenues.
In no event shall the expenditures recommended by the Town Manager in the operating budget exceed estimated receipts, taking into account estimated fund balances or deficits at the end of the current fiscal year. In the event of a projected deficit in the current fiscal year, the Town Manager shall recommend in the budget for the ensuing fiscal year revenues sufficient to eliminate any deficit anticipated to be carried over from the preceding fiscal year. It is further required that all revenue estimates must be certified by the Director of Finance and may not be subsequently altered by any party(ies) without recertification. The accounting standards and definitions set forth in this article shall establish the basis for determining compliance with this section.
No receipt from new revenue sources shall be included in the revenue estimates of the Town Manager unless a resolution or ordinance under which revenue from the source is derived has been amended or a new source of revenue has been provided by resolution or ordinance either in the course of the year preceding or simultaneously with the adoption of the budget, in which case the estimated receipts from that source may be fixed by the Town Manager as certified by the Director of Finance. If additional revenue from a new source is to be derived from the state or federal governments or other source, the amount fixed by the Town Manager shall not exceed the amount which the Director of Finance shall certify to be the reasonable expectation of receipts from such source.
The Town Manager may include in the operating budget of general fund appropriations a contingency account to be used during the fiscal year by the Town Council to fund the expense of salary settlements and for any other such purposes as it may deem proper. Expenditures may not be made directly from the contingency account, and no transfer of funds from the contingency account may be made without resolution of the Town Council.
At the time the operating budget is submitted by the Town Manager, it shall include a proposed Appropriation Ordinance, which shall include for each department, commission, board, officer, agency or function of the Town, exclusive of the Board of Education, appropriations for any and all of the major characters of expenditure. The Board of Education budget shall be incorporated into the proposed ordinance in accordance with provisions of state statutes and local Charter. At the same time, the Town Manager shall submit a resolution establishing the tax rate in mills for the ensuing fiscal year which shall be levied on taxable property in the Town. The public hearings on the budget, as provided by Charter, shall constitute the hearings on the ordinance referred to in this section.
The Manager may, or at the request of the Town Council shall, require each department, commission, board, office or agency of the Town, supported wholly or in part by Town funds or for which a specific Town appropriation is made, to set forth, in narrative or such other form as the Manager may prescribe, a program or programs showing services, activities or work accomplished during the current year and to be accomplished during the ensuing fiscal year. The Manager shall, after consideration, publish or cause to be published a proposed operating budget and capital budget.
The Manager shall compile preliminary estimates for the annual budget. The head of each department, commission, board, office or agency of the Town, as described in § 18-15 of this article, shall, at least 130 days before the end of the fiscal year, file with the Manager, on forms prescribed and provided by the Manager, a detailed estimate of the expenditures to be made by said department, commission, board, office or agency and revenue, other than tax revenues, to be collected thereby in the ensuing fiscal year and such other information as may be required by the Council or the Manager. The Superintendent of schools shall, at least 115 days before the end of the fiscal year, file with the Board of Education and submit to the Manager on behalf of the Board of Education a detailed estimate of the expenditures to be made by its department and the revenue to be collected thereby in the ensuing fiscal year and such other information as may be required by the Council.
Editor's Note: See also Charter, Ch. VII, Section 2.
Not later than 110 days before the end of the fiscal year the Manager shall present to the Council a budget consisting of:
A budget message outlining the financial policy of the Town government and describing in connection therewith the important features of the budget plan, indicating any major changes from the current year in financial policies, expenditures and revenues, together with the reasons for such changes, and containing a clear general summary of its contents.
Estimates of revenue, presenting in parallel columns the itemized receipts collected in the last two completed fiscal years, the receipts collected during the current fiscal year prior to the time of preparing the estimates, total receipts estimated to be collected during the current fiscal year and like estimates of itemized receipts to be collected in the ensuing fiscal year and an estimate of available surplus.
Itemized estimates of expenditures, presenting in parallel columns the actual expenditures for each department, commission, board, office or agency or activity for the last two completed fiscal years and for the current fiscal year prior to the time of preparing the estimates, total itemized expenditures as estimated for the current fiscal year and the Manager's recommendations of the amounts to be appropriated for the ensuing fiscal year for all purposes in like itemized form and such other information as may be required by the Council. The Manager shall present reasons for all of the Manager's recommendations. The Superintendent of Schools shall have the same duties and follow the same form and procedure with respect to the Superintendent's detailed estimate for the School Department as required of the Manager in § 18-16 of this article for other departmental estimates. As part of the budget, the Manager shall present a program, previously considered and acted upon by the Town Plan and Zoning Commission, in accordance with Special Act No. 562 of the 1957 General Assembly, as amended, of proposed capital projects for the ensuing fiscal year and for the five fiscal years thereafter. Estimates of the cost of such projects shall be submitted by each department, commission, board, office or agency annually in the form and manner prescribed by the Manager. The Manager shall recommend to the Council those projects to be undertaken during the ensuing fiscal year and the method of financing the same.
A budget summary at the beginning of the budget document which shall not be itemized further than by principal sources of anticipated revenue, stating separately the amount to be raised by the property tax and other revenues in such manner as to present a simple and clear summary of the detailed estimate of the budget.
Statistical information designed to aid the Council and residents of the Town in evaluating the need for and demand for proposed programs, in determining appropriate levels of service and in ascertaining the effectiveness of ongoing programs.
Appropriation and revenue ordinances and resolutions necessary to carry out the proposed budget.
Any other information which the Town Manager considers desirable or which the Town Council requests.
Editor's Note: See also Charter, Ch. VII, Section 3.
[Added 9-28-1982; amended 6-28-1983; 10-10-1995; 6-13-2006]
The Town Manager and the Superintendent of Schools may include in their respective operating budgets of general fund appropriations a risk management appropriation to finance the costs of risk management to the Town and school system, including, without limitation, the cost of employee benefits, protective and liability insurance, retentions, claims processing, special risk management services overhead and administration. The Town Manager or his/her designee shall be responsible for the administration and development of the risk management program and, subject to normal personnel, budgetary and other applicable procedures, shall maintain such staff and contract for such services as shall be necessary for the implementation of said program. Subject to applicable law and the provisions of the Charter and with due consideration to recommendations of the Risk Management Advisory Board, the Town Manager or his/her designee shall determine, in the case of each category of risk or liability, the risk management strategy best suited to the needs of the Town, including commercial insurance with designated levels of retention, self-insurance programs, participation in interlocal risk management pools and the like. The Superintendent of Schools shall do likewise for the school system.
There is hereby created and established a permanent Risk Management Advisory Board to advise the Town Council and Board of Education on matters related to the risk management program, including, but not limited to, advising the Town Council and Town administration on matters relating to the investment of risk management reserve funds and to meet with the Town and school system administrations on such matters pertaining to risk management as may affect public policy. The Risk Management Advisory Board shall consist of six citizen electors of the Town: three appointed by the Town Council and three appointed by the Board of Education.
In addition, during the period between April 1, 2006, and December 31, 2010, two additional members shall be appointed to the Risk Management Advisory Board from the membership of the former Investment Advisory Committee established pursuant to Article V of this chapter. On January 1, 2011, the composition of the Risk Management Advisory Committee shall return to six members, at least two of whom shall be experienced in the management of investments of those kinds in which municipal funds may be invested. Thereafter, vacancies occurring because of the expiration of terms on the Risk Management Advisory Board shall be filled by appointments or reappointments for new terms of three years, each such new term to commence on January 1, immediately following the expiration of the prior term. In addition to the six citizen electors, there shall be two ex officio members on the Risk Management Advisory Board representing the Town and school system administrations. The Town Manager shall appoint one such member for the Town, and the Superintendent of Schools shall do likewise for the school system.
Editor's Note: Former Art. V, Investment Advisory Committee, was repealed 6-13-2006.
The Council shall schedule and hold two or more public hearings not later than 75 days before the end of the fiscal year, to which hearings the Board of Education shall be invited. At said hearings any elector or taxpayer may have an opportunity to be heard regarding appropriations for the ensuing fiscal year.
Following receipt of the estimates from the Manager and the Superintendent of Schools, the Council shall cause sufficient copies of said estimates to be made available for general distribution in the office of the Town Clerk, and, at least seven days prior to each of the aforementioned public hearings, the Council shall cause to be published in a newspaper having circulation in the Town a notice of such public hearing and a summary of said proposed budget estimates showing anticipated revenues by major sources and proposed expenditures by functions or departments in the same columnar form as prescribed for budget estimates in § 18-17 of this article and shall also show the amount to be raised by taxation.
Not later than 74 days before the end of the fiscal year, the Board of Education, having reviewed the detailed estimates previously filed with it by the Superintendent of Schools and having considered the views expressed at the aforesaid public hearings, shall present to the Town Council its final detailed estimate of the expenditures to be made by its department and the revenue to be collected thereby in the ensuing fiscal year and such other information as may be required by the Council. The Board of Education shall simultaneously file a copy of its final detailed estimate with the Manager. The Board of Education shall have the same duties and follow the same form and procedure with respect to its final detailed estimate as required of the Manager in § 18-16 of this article for other departmental estimates.
The Council shall, by ordinance, adopt a budget and file the same with the Town Clerk not later than 65 days before the end of the fiscal year. At the time when the Council shall adopt the budget, it shall also compute and then, by resolution, fix the tax rate in mills for the ensuing fiscal year, which shall be levied on taxable property in Town. Should the Council fail to adopt a budget as hereinabove set forth, the budget, as transmitted by the Manager in accordance with the provisions of § 18-6 of this article, as amended by the final detailed estimate of the Board of Education presented as hereinabove set forth in this section, shall be deemed to have been finally adopted by said Council, and then the tax rate shall forthwith be computed and then fixed in mills by the Manager. Thereafter expenditures shall be made in accordance with the budget so adopted.
For the purposes of Chapter 108 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, the Council shall be deemed to be the budget-making authority and the legislative body of the Town and shall have all the powers and duties contained in said Chapter 108 for the creation of a Reserve Fund for Capital and Nonrecurring Expenditures.
Editor's Note: See also Charter, Ch. VII, Section 4.
The school budgets shall contain an estimate of expenditures demonstrated by the Board of Education to be necessary for the proper conduct of the schools and anticipated receipts from all appropriate revenue sources, other than the property tax, which are required by law or custom to be received and expended by the Town Treasurer. These revenues shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, all anticipated grant funds from federal and state governments, private donations and other local sources. Such receipts shall be included as revenues, either of the general fund, when by law they are required to be revenues of the general fund, or of special revenue and internal service funds when the moneys are by law or custom considered to be dedicated to a special purpose served by the School Department and the Board of Education. In the case of special revenue funds, the proposed expenditures to be financed from these revenue sources shall be included as items for appropriation within the school budgets.
Such special revenue funds shall be established by the Director of Finance in situations where the Board of Education determines a program to be significantly distinct from the general fund programs and providing such program(s) has separate and dedicated funding sources. Each such special program and related revenues included within a special revenue fund shall be included as part of the school budgets and shall clearly and concisely display all positions funded from such receipts, anticipated expenditures by character of expenditure and revenues by source, as well as fringe benefits and other costs related to these positions but paid from other general fund appropriations of the municipal and school budgets.
The related appropriations of the special revenue funds shall be made in a lump sum in a manner paralleling as closely as possible that of the school's general fund appropriation, and the control by the Town Treasurer of said appropriation shall be in terms of assuring a balance as between total anticipated receipts and total anticipated expenditures of each fund respectively. It shall be the duty of the Town Council to make appropriations of all special revenue funds as submitted by the Board of Education.
The Appropriation Ordinance adopted by the Town Council shall include an authorization for the Town Treasurer to receive and, upon appropriate request of a representative of the Board of Education, to disburse any and all funds in support of all such programs financed through special revenue funds. Further, the Town Treasurer shall be responsible for maintaining the records and reports on the status of such special revenue funds.
Preceding the time that the annual operating budget is submitted to the Council, the Town Manager shall submit to the Council a program (and to the extent such program includes capital improvements requiring submission to the Planning and Zoning Commission under the Charter shall, at least 45 days prior thereto, have submitted such improvements to the Commission for a report pursuant to Chapter XIII, Section 6, of the Charter) of proposed detailed capital improvements for the ensuing fiscal year and a summary of such improvements for the next five fiscal years thereafter, with recommendations as to the means of financing the same for each of the fiscal years. Each capital improvement project shall also include an estimate of annual operating expenses attributable to its maintenance, operation, programming and such other information deemed necessary to thoroughly document its nature, current and future costs and related impacts.
It shall be the responsibility of each department, commission, board, office and agency seeking a capital appropriation for the ensuing fiscal year and the next five fiscal years thereafter to submit to the Town Manager each proposed capital improvement which it believes should be made in conjunction with its work during the six ensuing fiscal years and to furnish all pertinent data relating to each project which may be required on forms provided for this purpose.
The Town Manager may require attendance at hearings of heads of departments or any other offices of any department, commission, board, office or agency of the Town and may require the giving by them of such explanations as they are called upon to give or as they desire to offer in respect to each requested public improvement project.
The Director of Finance shall prepare annually and transmit to the Town Manager a statement of the current level of expenditures required to finance previously approved or completed projects, for the ensuing and five succeeding fiscal years. Included in this statement shall be an opinion as to the amount of additional bonds or notes believed proper for the Town to issue during such period, clearly stating the reasons therefor, but taking into consideration credit rating and taxation levels.
The Town Manager shall submit annually a proposed Capital Budget Ordinance, which shall include the capital expenditures proposed for the next fiscal year and the proposed means of financing them.
The Town Council shall appropriate in each year an amount for financing capital projects, which shall be equal to no less than the average annual capital expenditures by the Town for the last five fiscal years. Such appropriation and the determination of the prior five-year expenditure average shall consist of those items indicated as debt service, cash contribution to a Reserve Fund for Capital and Nonrecurring Expenditures from other than grant or other dedicated revenue resources and an amount to be determined each year by the Town Council which reflects the level of marginal increase (decrease) required, in the judgment of the Council, which may be included in the five-year average, in order to create adjustments for changing needs or inflation.
The Director of Finance shall prepare, in conjunction with the adopted capital budget and other considerations, a projected capital financing plan for a minimum of three fiscal years, which plan shall consist of debt obligations, cash payments and combinations thereof. The capital financing plan shall incorporate the total of the appropriations provided by the Town Council as indicated in this section; and, further, the plan shall provide an optimal ratio of principal to interest payments for that element of the plan dependent on the issuance of long-term debt. Said financing plan shall serve as a guide for the Town Council in adopting, in accordance with other appropriate Charter requirements and ordinances, the financing alternatives for various capital projects for the next fiscal year.
A Reserve Fund for Capital and Nonrecurring Expenditures shall be established in accordance with Chapter 108 of the General Statutes of Connecticut and shall include the capital improvement reserve account provided in the West Hartford Town Charter, Chapter VII, Section 7(g). All moneys appropriated to the Reserve Fund for Capital and Nonrecurring Expenditures and all interest earnings accruing from moneys in the fund shall remain assets of the fund and available solely for purposes as provided herein and as provided by applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
Editor's Note: Former § 18-25, Debt Management Reserve Fund, added 3-9-1982, was repealed 5-25-2010.
The Council may adopt the capital budget with or without amendments. Subject to specific direction for each project as provided by the Council, the adoption of the Capital Budget Ordinance shall constitute authority for the Town Manager to solicit bids, let contracts and commence work on those projects designated to be financed from current revenue and to undertake preliminary steps necessary in connection with Council action on those capital projects to be financed through the issuance of bonds or notes, pursuant to Bond Ordinances to be enacted from time to time by the Council, in accordance with Chapter VII, Section 8, of the Charter.
After conclusion of the annual public hearings, the Council may reduce, increase, add to or delete any item contained in the budget, except that no item of appropriation for debt service or pension contribution shall be reduced below the amount certified as necessary by the Director of Finance or Pension Board, respectively, and further provided that no change to the budget shall increase appropriations to an amount greater than the total of estimated revenue, and further provided that revenues are also sufficient to eliminate any operating deficit projected for the current fiscal year.
The action of the Council on the school budget shall relate to its total only, and the School Board shall have authority to expend, at its discretion, the sum appropriated for its use, provided that if it receives an appropriation greater or less than its original request, it shall forthwith revise its estimates of expenditure and adopt appropriations in accordance therewith, which revised estimates shall be included in its adopted budget.
At any time during the fiscal year, the Council may make, by resolution, supplemental appropriations to the operating or capital budgets, provided that the Director of Finance certifies that there exists in the general fund balance or capital improvement reserve account a sum unencumbered and unappropriated sufficient to meet such appropriations. Every such further or supplemental appropriation shall be embodied in a separate resolution limited to some single purpose, program or project therein stated, and each such resolution shall also provide the source of revenue needed to fund the new appropriation.
The enactment of the Operating Budget Ordinance shall constitute an appropriation of the sums specified therein for the agencies indicated and from the funds indicated in the adopted budget document. Agencies authorized to make expenditures under the Operating Budget Ordinance may proceed without other authority from the Council to incur obligations and make expenditures for proper purposes in accordance with their work plan submitted and approved in the budget document, to the extent that moneys are available. The Director of Finance is responsible for the enforcement of the Operating and Capital Budget Ordinances and is authorized, with the approval of the Town Manager, to take such measures as may be necessary during the fiscal year in ensure compliance with the operating and Capital Budget Ordinances. The Director of Finance, in fulfilling the responsibilities under this section, may control the rate at which appropriations are expended during the fiscal year through the establishment of an allotment system. Allotment requests shall be submitted by the municipal department heads and reviewed and approved by the Town Manager before being effected by the Director of Finance. In the case of the school budgets, the Superintendent of Schools shall submit the allotment request which shall be accepted by the Director of Finance. In no event shall any allotment be required to be of equal amounts, and in any allotment period in which there occurs an over or under expenditure, the appropriations shall automatically be reallocated to preceding or ensuing allotment periods with the concurrence of the agency head. Whenever such allotments are established, the Director of Finance shall authorize obligations to be incurred and expenditures to be made only on the basis thereof. The Director of Finance shall have the responsibility of ensuring that obligations are incurred and expenditures made in accordance with generally accepted governmental accounting and budgetary principles.
The Annual Budget Ordinance shall include, for each department, commission, board, office and agency of the Town, exclusive of the Board of Education, appropriations for any or all of the following major characters of expenditure: personal services, nonpersonal expense, capital outlay and sundry expense. The appropriation for the Board of Education shall be lump sum as a sundry expense. The Manager may, upon written request of the head of a department, commission, board, office or agency, and upon certification from the Director of Finance that funds are available, transfer any unencumbered balance or portion thereof within a major character of expenditure for such department, commission, board, office or agency.
Transfers between major characters of expenditure for a single department, commission, board, office or agency shall be made only upon approval by resolution of the Council. All transfers shall be subject to restrictions as provided in Chapter VII, Section 7(e) of the Town Charter.
Notwithstanding the foregoing authority to transfer funds with a major character of expenditure, the total number of regular positions authorized for any department, commission, board, office or agency, as shown in the budget document, shall not be exceeded without prior approval by resolution of the Council.
The classification of expenditures for budgeting and accounting purposes shall be set forth in detail in a chart of budgetary accounts prepared and maintained by the Manager, and the major characters of expenditure shall be defined generally as follows:
- CAPITAL OUTLAY
- Payments of a relatively recurring nature to acquire or replace equipment required for normal operating purposes and of more than nominal value.
- NONPERSONAL EXPENSE
- Payments for ordinary and recurring operating expenses not otherwise classified.
- PERSONAL SERVICES
- Direct payments to employees through normal payroll procedures.
- SUNDRY EXPENSE
- Payments of a relatively recurring nature imposed by law or contract as obligations to be met for public, but not departmental, purposes.
In addition to responsibilities for certification of funds established by Charter, the Director of Finance is authorized to disapprove any requisition, voucher, claim or purchase order against the Town if, in the Director's opinion, it fails to conform to current budgeting orders or fails to conform to a purpose intended by the appropriation against which it is drawn.
Notwithstanding the authority provided by Charter and this article to transfer funds, the total number of regular, full-time positions, as shown in the adopted budget document, shall not be exceeded without prior approval by resolution of the Town Council. The Town Manager or designee shall be responsible for assuring compliance with this provision and shall establish procedures necessary to ensure that no permanent full-time classified or unclassified positions are created, filled or otherwise approved in excess of those established and approved by Council action. Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to prohibit the temporary filling of a position by more than one employee for purposes of training and employing a new incumbent, but in no case shall this exceed a period of 30 calendar days, excluding accrued sick and vacation days, payable upon termination of an incumbent.
All general and special revenue funds shall be accounted for on the modified-accrual basis, under which revenues shall be recognized when actually received, or accrued when the Director of Finance determines them to be both measurable and available, and commitments of money shall be recorded as soon as they result in contingent liabilities to be met from available appropriations. This shall not apply to interest earnings, which may be recognized on a full-accrual basis, so as not to preclude the Town from maximizing investment earnings through utilization of long-term investments transcending one or more fiscal years. Enterprise and intragovernmental service funds may utilize a full-accrual system of accounting if, in the discretion of the Director of Finance, it better reflects the financial operation of those funds to do so. The Town shall utilize a full-encumbrance system for all funds in all financial transactions of the Town. Salaries and wages of Town employees chargeable against valid personal services appropriations need not be encumbered, except at the close of the fiscal year. At the close of the fiscal year, all salary commitments and related employee benefits, such as social security, group insurance, retirement contributions and other obligations, as evidenced by a valid purchase order or contract accruing to the current accounting period, shall be itemized in a reserve for encumbrances; said itemized encumbrances, at the discretion of the Director of Finance, may be met from the aggregate total of the reserve for encumbrances.
The Director of Finance shall have direct supervision and control of all accounting and bookkeeping functions of Town departments, commissions, boards, offices and agencies. In the case of the School Department, the Director of Finance shall exercise general control and maintain all controlling accounts in accordance with state statutes and local Charter provisions. All accounting shall be centralized in the Department of Finance, which shall maintain a complete, accurate and modern system of accounting and which shall, at all times, reflect the financial condition of the Town and show the financial transactions of all departments, commissions, boards, offices and agencies, including the School Department, relating to all appropriations and funds. The Director of Finance shall prescribe all accounts and records necessary to be kept for proper control and reporting purposes and shall keep all accounts of the Town, prepare financial statements and prescribe and supervise such accounting methods as will afford opportunities to prevent unnecessary expenditures or any expenditures not authorized by law. The Director of Finance shall also maintain a complete physical inventory and cost record of all property owned by the Town, including perpetual inventory records, itemizing materials and supplies carried in store.
The form of all general and budgetary accounts shall be in accordance with the standardized classification of accounts as prescribed by the Director of Finance, who shall maintain, and update annually, a chart of accounts exhibiting the standard classification. The budget, accounting and reporting systems of the Town shall at all times conform to the same structure of accounts.
[Amended 6-14-1988; 8-5-2003; 5-9-2006]
The Director of Finance is responsible for the receipt, collection and accounting of all moneys due the Town from any source whatsoever, except as noted in this article, and is authorized to establish the necessary controls and procedures to ensure the proper discharge of this responsibility. All moneys received by any department, commission, board, office or agency of the Town, including the School Department, shall be promptly turned over to the Director of Finance or designee, to be deposited in such depositories as may be so designated, except, however, school activity funds, which may be created from time to time for the purpose of financing educationally related programs and events for students of the particular school for which such funds are established and contributed and which shall be administered by proper officials of the School Department. The Director of Finance shall, within one business day, deposit all moneys received in the previous twenty-four-hour period, except in the months of January and July, when the Director shall deposit all tax revenues for the previous twenty-four-hour period within three business days. After the property tax levy and rate have been officially established, the Director of Finance shall prepare tax bills and shall have them ready for payment by taxpayers as soon thereafter as possible, but in no event later than the first day of the fiscal year for which said levy is made. Tax bills for any second or subsequent installments shall be ready not later than the first day of the commencement of said installment period.
If any payment to the Town of West Hartford, for any purpose whatsoever, is made by check, which check is dishonored by the bank upon which it is drawn due to the presence of insufficient funds in such account, as defined in C.G.S. § 53a-118(a)(14), as may be amended from time to time, a fee of $30 shall be charged in addition to the amount of the original payment due to the Town. If the dishonor of such check renders the payment made thereby to the Town untimely or delinquent pursuant to any other provision contained in this Code, or any other law, regulation or agreement, the fee imposed hereby shall be imposed in addition to any other penalties specified elsewhere.
If the payment of any fine, penalty and/or administrative fee imposed by citation as a result of a violation of an ordinance of the Town of West Hartford is made after the time within which said fine may be paid without penalty, the amount of said fine shall be increased by 13 1/2% of the original amount of the fines, penalties and/or administrative fees set forth upon the original citation issued, plus the amount expended by the Town in pursuing collection thereof, provided that such amount shall not exceed 1/2 of the original amount of the fines, penalties and/or administrative fees set forth upon the original citation issued.
All payments or disbursements of the Town shall be made by check of the Town, signed by the Director of Finance or, in the absence of the Director of Finance, by the Town Manager, except from school activity funds or unless otherwise provided by this article. Any signature on checks of the Town may be manual or by facsimile, but checks shall be prepared only under the authority of the Director of Finance.
The Director of Finance shall establish and maintain those funds required by law and/or by sound principles and practices of financial administration. The funds of the Town shall be classified as the general fund and the capital improvement fund and any other funds which may be established by the Director of Finance under this section. All expenditures proposed to be undertaken from the general fund, capital improvement fund or any other funds which may be established shall be appropriated only by applicable ordinances and resolutions as set forth in this article. A self-balancing group of accounts shall be maintained for each fund established under this section, and financial reports shall set forth their financial position as required by § 18-45 of this article.
[Added 9-28-1982; amended 6-28-1983; 6-9-1987; 5-10-1994]
There is hereby established a permanent Risk Management Fund to incorporate all income and expenses associated with the Town's and school system's risk management programs, such income to include, without limitation, investment return accrued with respect to retained reserves and retrospective and experience-rated insurance premium refunds, and such expenses to include, without limitations, insurance premium retentions (deductibles and self-insurance), administration and staffing and such other expenses as are properly incurred incident to the operation of the risk management program. Separate accounts may be established within the Risk Management Fund to incorporate income and expenses associated with the Town and school system risk management programs, respectively, provided that the amounts held to the credit of such accounts may be combined with the discretion of the Director of Finance for the payment of premiums of insurance policies, uninsured claims and associated expenses. In addition to such separate accounts, the following retained earnings reserve accounts are created within the Risk Management Fund:
Account A: reserved for heart/hypertension benefits.
Account B: reserved for Town retiree benefits for future Town retiree health/life benefits.
Account C: reserved for school retiree benefits for future school retiree health/life benefits.
Account D: reserved for other losses to fund retentions and deductibles, claim defense costs on uninsured losses and similar uninsured contingencies.
These accounts shall be dedicated and used only for the purposes for which they were established. Earnings on the investment of these accounts shall be credited and retained in the accounts. Retained earnings in an account in excess of liabilities may be transferred to the benefit of another account with unfunded liabilities within the Risk Management Fund upon the recommendation of the Town Manager and the Risk Management Advisory Board to the Town Council.
Accounts A, B, C and D shall be reviewed periodically by the Town's actuary and by the Director of Finance, who will be responsible for recommending funding levels. The Town Manager and Superintendent of Schools shall incorporate said recommendations for funding in their recommended annual budgets to the Town Council and Board of Education, which shall make every attempt to fund said accounts at the recommended levels.
Said Risk Management Fund shall be subject to normal budgetary procedures and appropriation action by the Town Council and Board of Education, provided that the Town Council and Board of Education shall give due consideration to recommendations of the Risk Management Advisory Board in taking such action with respect to the Risk Management Fund.
Pursuant to the authority granted to it in C.G.S. § 7-450(b), as that section may be amended or recodified from time to time, there shall be created and established the Other Post-Employment Benefits Trust (the “OPEB Trust”) to fund certain retiree benefits which the Town may be obligated to provide pursuant to the terms of previously established plans for the benefit of certain employees, retirees, their spouses and dependents.
Upon the enactment of this section, the members of the Risk Management Advisory Board shall also serve as, and shall constitute, the Other Post-Employment Benefits Advisory Board, hereinafter referred to as the “OPEB Board.” The terms of the members of the OPEB Board shall be coextensive with their respective terms as members of the Town of West Hartford Risk Management Advisory Board. The OPEB Board shall perform the duties set forth in the OPEB Trust Agreement, as amended from time to time, relating to the administration of the OPEB Trust.
Upon the enactment of this section, the Director of Financial Services shall be appointed as Trustee for the OPEB Trust and shall perform the duties set forth in the OPEB Trust Agreement, as amended from time to time, relating to the management of the assets held in the OPEB Trust, and shall have the care and custody of all assets funds and the power to invest such assets in accord with all applicable provisions of law.
Interfund loans and advances may be authorized by resolution of the Town Council upon certification by the Director of Finance that sufficient cash is available in the fund from which the loan or advance is to be made. A repayment period not to exceed three years shall be specified at the time of the authorization of the loan or advance and shall be scheduled so as to fully reimburse the advancing fund to meet all current and future obligations. Such loans or advances shall be used for short-term loans for the establishment of intragovernmental service funds and other appropriations in order to avoid thereby unnecessary borrowing costs associated with bond or revenue anticipation notes.
Transfers between funds which would result in the recognition of revenue by one fund and the recording of an expenditure by the other fund for services performed on a recurring basis shall be clearly displayed as to revenue source and appropriation in the annual budget document, and the interfund transfer shall be included in the pertinent financial reports. Transfers in the nature of reimbursements of expenditures, such as reimbursement to the general fund for services rendered by the capital improvement fund, may be accomplished through direct expenditure credits to the fund rendering the services from the fund receiving services, provided that such services are performed on an incidental rather than a recurring basis. Both the latter and former transfer, when employed, shall be based upon reliable estimates of the cost of service performed, and the Director of Finance shall establish such procedures as to ensure the proper recording of the value of said services. Nonrecurring transfers from one fund to another as a contribution of working capital that is not expected to be repaid may be authorized by Appropriation Ordinance or by resolution of the Town Council and shall clearly be displayed in the annual budget document as to revenue source and appropriation.
[Amended 3-9-1982; 9-28-1982]
Unless otherwise provided, interest earned on all funds and accounts of the Town, including the Capital Improvement Fund established under § 18-37 of this article, shall become a revenue of the general fund and be properly credited in the fiscal year earned, except in those funds which, by separate law or regulation, must accrue exclusively to that fund. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in order to facilitate capital project financing or to maximize investment earnings, the Director of Finance may, with the approval of the Town Manager, designate one or more funds or accounts to receive all or a part of the investment earnings which would otherwise accrue to the general fund under this section.
Any unencumbered and unexpended surplus at the close of the fiscal year not dedicated as appropriated fund balance for the ensuing fiscal year shall be subject to further appropriation by the Town Council to the extent that the Director of Finance certifies that revenues are estimated to exceed liabilities and expenditures for the fiscal year. The Director of Finance shall make an estimate of the fund balance during budget preparation, all or a portion of which may be included as estimated revenues for the ensuing fiscal year. This estimate shall include a projection of appropriations over anticipated expenditures and liabilities of the School Department, which shall be prepared and forwarded to the Director of Finance by appropriate school officials upon request of the Director of Finance. In making such estimates, school officials shall be guided by provisions contained in this article.
No payment shall be made and/or obligation incurred on behalf of the Town or the School Department except in accordance with an appropriation duly made. No payment shall be made or obligation incurred against any appropriation unless the Director of Finance shall first certify that there is a sufficient and unencumbered balance in such appropriation to meet the same. Each purchase requisition and voucher shall specify the account under which it is to be drawn, and no claim against the Town shall be paid unless it is evidenced by a voucher approved for payment by the head of the department, commission, board, office or agency for which the obligation was incurred. For the purpose of budgetary control, the Director of Finance may require a preaudit of unencumbered balances within line-item accounts rather than by gross appropriation levels. Nothing in this section shall be taken to prevent the advance authorization of expenditures for small or emergency purchases, provided that the Director of Finance shall establish the limits and procedures for such purchases. In addition, nothing in this section shall prevent the making of contracts or leases providing for the payment of funds at a time beyond the fiscal year in which such contracts are made, provided that the nature of such transactions will reasonably required the making of such contracts and provided that the Director of Finance shall approve same.
Disbursements made in the ensuing fiscal year but properly chargeable to the accrued prior year's encumbrance reserve shall be so charged. As prior year's encumbrances are liquidated, excess amounts shall revert to fund balance. All prior year's encumbrances shall be liquidated within three months from the beginning of the new fiscal year unless an exception is approved by the Director of Finance. In addition, the Director of Finance may require that no encumbrance for open purchase orders shall be made obligating funds past the end of an immediate calendar quarter for any rental or lease, supplies and materials or professional service, unless the Town shall be obligated by the law or by contract to continue same on a basis extending past one calendar quarter. The Director of Finance shall be the sole determinant of a proper encumbrance to be carried forth into a following fiscal year and shall prescribe the required recording of said encumbrances and their liquidation.
The Director of Finance shall, with 30 days at the end of each quarter, prepare a financial report on the status of all appropriated funds. At a minimum the report shall include interim balance sheets for all funds, a tabular statement comparing the receipts to date by source with the budget revenue estimate and a tabular statement, indicating for each appropriation the amount originally appropriated, the amount expended and encumbered to date and available balance. As soon as possible after the close of the fiscal year, a final report, subject to independent audit, shall be printed and distributed to the Town Council and other interested groups and persons. A final annual financial report shall be printed and distributed as soon as possible after independent audit.
The Town Council shall annually designate an independent certified public accountant or firm of independent certified public accountants to audit the books and accounts of the Town in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 111 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended. In making such designation, the Town Council shall take into consideration the recommendations of the Audit Committee and shall consider any subsequent recommendations of the Audit Committee regarding the removal of the designated auditor(s).
During the audit process, the designated auditor(s) may meet, as necessary or appropriate, with the Audit Committee to discuss any issues of particular concern relevant to the audit process. In accord with the provisions of West Hartford Code of Ordinances, Chapter 5, Article XXV, the Audit Committee shall review the draft report of the audit and any associated management letters and may make such requests of the auditor(s) or the administration as may be necessary to provide a fair and complete audit of the Town and Board of Education.
Upon transmission of the final audit report to the Town Council, the Audit Committee may make such recommendations to the Town Council and the Board of Education as are necessary to implement any changes to financial practices or procedures which may be evident from the audit.
Any person, group, organization or agency receiving funds from the Town of West Hartford to be disbursed for public purposes shall keep records of the method and manner in which the funds received from the Town were expended and shall submit, upon request of the Town, such records for audit to the Director of Finance as may be requested.
Nothing in this article should be construed as contradicting the Charter provisions of the Town of West Hartford nor the applicable state statutes in the case of the School Department or other operations governed by specifically appropriate statutory law. In the event of apparent conflict, the Charter and state statutory provisions shall prevail.
Provisions of this article shall be subject to those sanctions provided by state and local law applicable to the performance of fiduciary and related responsibilities.