An update from Supervisor LaFountain: 2020 Financial Statements Accepted
Last night, the town board accepted the Town of Penfield’s 2020 audited Financial Statements; an independent report detailing the Town’s financial activity for 2020. I am pleased to share that we continue our long tradition of fiscal responsibility.
With a year dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, all levels of government faced unexpected costs and drastically reduced revenue—especially from lost sales tax—throwing many budgets into turmoil. Although we certainly experienced these challenges, the Town of Penfield’s financials received excellent marks for 2020 thanks to our strong balance sheet and commitment of department heads and the town board to reduce costs across all budget lines.
The town board has historically been conservative when projecting annual revenue, as this is an area for which we have the least control in the overall budget process. In any given year, many factors can impact our revenue line including weather, cancellation of projected work from other entities such as the county and school district, reduced state funding—and of course in 2020 we were thrown a pandemic!
Because of our strong balance sheet, Penfield was able to manage the challenges of COVID, continue to provide most services, and sustain our finances without having to raise taxes in for the 2021 Budget. We delayed replacements for employee retirements and attrition, and did not need reduce staff while we continued to run operations. The teamwork of department heads, our town comptroller, and the town board during this worldwide crisis contributed to an outstanding audit report for Penfield’s 2020 financials with NO significant findings in any aspect of the report.
Town Comptroller Barbara Chirdo shared this comment, “It’s clear 2020 was a challenging year for all, and government was no exception. With many revenue streams coming in well under budget due to pandemic restrictions, the town board made crucial decisions along the way to reduce expenses while still providing essential services to the residents. At the close of the year, we are in a healthy fiscal position and look forward to 2021 being a better year for our community.”
I am also pleased to note that through the committed efforts of town staff, we applied for and received FEMA reimbursement for PPE and all COVID-19 related materials.