Clallam spent less, earned more than budgeted in 2016

PORT ANGELES — How did Clallam County do with its finances last year?

Better than expected, commissioners learned in a 2016 budget vs. actual performance report.

Clallam County spent $1.67 million less than it budgeted last year, largely due to an anomaly in staff vacancies, County Administrator Jim Jones said in a board work session Monday.

Meanwhile, the county collected $635,085 more revenue than projected for 2016, thanks in part to better-than-expected sales tax returns.

“We had best revenue year we’ve ever had, ever in the history of Clallam County,” Jones said.

“Sales tax was the highest it ever was.”

Actual sales tax collections were $336,000 over budget last year.

Total general fund revenues for 2016 were $34.45 million. That’s 1.88 percent more than the $33.81 million forecast in the 2016 budget, Jones said.

Actual expenditures were $35.12 million — a 4.55 percent decrease from a budgeted $36.79 million.

All told, Clallam County ended the year using $670,845 in general fund reserves, leaving an ending fund balance of $11.32 million.

The ending fund balance was $2.11 million more than budgeted and about $2.4 million above the minimum reserve required by policy, Jones said in an executive summary.

“We were in the hole by $670,845,” Jones told commissioners.

“But we were budgeting to be in the hole by over $2 million.”

Clallam County spent $24.18 million on salaries and benefits last year, 3.9 percent less than a budgeted $25.17 million.

The anomaly was based on 9.33 full-time staff positions that were left vacant in 2016, Jones said.

Four staff positions, including two in Juvenile and Family Services, were left vacant for the entire year.

The other 5.33 positions were temporary gaps between people leaving and their replacements being hired.

In a typical year, Clallam County spends $350,000 to $550,000 less than it budgets for salaries and benefits, Jones said.

This year, commissioners have endeavored to work with other elected officials and department heads to reduce a $2.29 million projected draw on general fund reserves by $1.5 million.

To that end, commissioners Bill Peach, Mark Ozias and Randy Johnson have requested monthly financial updates to track the county’s progress.

“This is a one-button report,” Jones said.

“We’ll get it automatically. My plan is to look at it and do the same thing each month and look for any anomalies, and then go in, drill down, and find out what the anomaly is and report it to the board.”

Jones provided a breakdown of the 2016 general fund budget vs. actual performance.

Here are the comparisons for revenues:

• Taxes: Budgeted $16.05 million, collected $16.28 million.

• Licenses and permits: Budgeted $695,400, collected $801,658.

• Intergovernmental revenues: Budgeted $5.81 million, collected $5.35 million.

• Charges for goods and services: Budgeted $7.73 million, collected $7.92 million.

• Fines and forfeits: Budgeted $1.14 million, collected $1.14 million.

• Miscellaneous: Budgeted $1.39 million, collected $1.83 million.

• Other financing sources: Budgeted $954,750, collected $1.08 million.

• Plus transfers from other funds: Budgeted $45,000, collected $45,000.

• Total revenues: Budgeted $33.81 million, collected $34.45 million, a 1.88 percent variance.

Here are the comparisons for expenditures:

• Salaries: Budgeted $18.52 million, spent $17.98 million.

• Benefits: Budgeted $6.64 million, spent $6.20 million.

• Total personnel costs: Budgeted $25.17 million, spent $24.18 million.

• Supplies and capital improvements: Budgeted $1.76 million, spent $1.53 million.

• Contracted services and other: Budgeted $8.33 million, spent $7.36 million.

• Interfund payments and transfers: Budgeted $1.53 million, spent $2.04 million.

• Total expenditures: Budgeted $36.79 million, spent $35.12 million, a 4.55 percent variance.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@penin suladailynews.com.

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