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Financial update from the COA

February 19, 2010 by WLKM 

The St. Joseph County Commission on Aging boosted its unreserved fund balance to just over $1.4 million during the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2009.

That was the indication from Finance Director Dan Carey during the COA Board’s February meeting Wednesday (February 17th) as he reviewed the COA’s “unaudited financial statement” for the 2008/2009 budget year. According to the report, COA revenues for the period exceeded expenditures by $326,000.

Grants utilized by the COA to fund some of its programs were noted in the course of discussion surrounding the financial report. Mike Dunlap, elected in January as chairman of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners and now a member of the COA Board, asked Executive Director Lynn Coursey, “Do you think any of these grants are going to dry up?” Coursey replied, “Oh, absolutely!” She mentioned several that have already gone away and indicated that other reductions are anticipated.

At the state level, Coursey said the Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) is expecting a 21.8 percent funding cut and said OSA’s staff has “already been cut by 50 percent.”

Coursey said, “It’s very important that we maintain that fund balance. I know it looks like we should be going on a ‘hog wild’ spending spree, but really, we are really bracing ourselves for 2011 and 2012, plus our millage runs in 2012 and, if we don’t make it around the first time, we will have to live off of our fund balance until we get it back on the ballot and try again.”

Coursey also said that the Commission on Aging is “one of the only programs in the state that doesn’t have extensive waiting lists.” She said, “We are really fortunate that we haven’t seen that,” not because the agency isn’t being asked for services. She said, “It’s because we are being prudent and we are making sure that we’re referring people to other agencies when we can’t do something.”

Dunlap noted uncertainty at the county level in regard to future funding and said, “It’s for certain that there’s going to be cuts.”

Carey’s review of financial matters also included a report on the fund for the Three Rivers Community Center, which is operated by the COA and serves as headquarters for the agency. That report also showed a positive bottom line for the year that ended on September 30, 2009. Operating income was just over $17,000 for the period, yielding an increase in retained earnings to $46,000.

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