ECFSA Unanimously Approves Resolution Transferring $720,000 in Surplus Budget Funds Accumulated Over Life of Board; Use Will be at County’s Discretion
ERIE COUNTY, NY— Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz thanked the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority (“ECFSA” or “Control Board”) for their unanimous approval today of Resolution No. 13-16, which provides Erie County (the “County”) with $720,000 in surplus funds accumulated over the life of the Control Board, at a regular meeting of the board held earlier today.
“I want to thank Chairman [James] Sampson and his fellow directors for approving the transfer of $720,000 in surplus funds back to the County,” said Poloncarz. “Because of the legislature’s phony cuts to the budget last year, my administration had to implement significant cost-cutting measures to ensure a balanced budget. Even after all of the cost-cutting measures my administration has instituted, this year’s budget is still very tight. These funds will definitely be put to good use for the benefit of Erie County residents. This is just another example of the Control Board’s willingness to not only work closely and cooperatively with my administration but to work on the people’s behalf.”
“I would like to thank my fellow directors on joining me in approving this measure to return $720,000 in unused surplus funds back to the people of Erie County,” said Chairman Sampson. “Over the past several years we have worked to hold the line on operational spending, keeping it to a bare minimum in our duties overseeing the County’s return to fiscal stability. It has been a pleasure to work with County Executive Poloncarz and I look forward to the productive use of this funding in support of County residents.”
The New York State Public Authorities Law allows ECFSA to intercept county tax revenues and state aid revenues for the purposes of paying the authority’s operating expenses then, at the board’s discretion, transfer any remaining balance back to the County. Under ECFSA’s enabling legislation, the Control Board uses County funds for its operating budget. The Control Board’s audited financial statements for the year end December 2012 notes that “for the seventh consecutive year the Authority has expended less than its annual operating budget by at least 9% or more” and directly led to the creation of the surplus which is nearly $1 million. Under the action, ECFSA will return $720,000 of the accumulated surplus to the County for its use.
The transfer of funds will occur within 60 days after ECFSA approval and is contingent upon an invoice from the County; however, no decision has been made yet by the administration on the allocation of this funding.
This is the latest example of the cooperative relationship fostered by Poloncarz and Chairman Sampson since 2012, which includes working together to refund bonds taking advantage of historically low interest rates and saving taxpayers more than $2.6 million, as well as the release of ECFSA efficiency grant funds to help the County pay for settling union contracts (with union concessions) and for the purchase of new energy efficient highway vehicles. Acknowledging the Poloncarz administration’s financial prudence, ECFSA has also unanimously approved the revised 2012 and 2013 Erie County Budgets and Four-Year Financial Plans while remaining in “advisory” status.