Fredonia facing financial crunch

Erlyssa LeBeau

Fredonia’s general fund is more than $900,000 in the hole and Village Treasurer Erlyssa LeBeau is critical of spending practices.

The information came out at this week’s Board of Trustees meeting. Trustee Michelle Twichell sought to highlight LeBeau’s statement.

“I did want to point out in our April treasurer’s report, our treasurer said, ‘There are multiple departments that are overspending their budgets and not submitting purchase information until after the purchase is complete, which is not the way municipal purchasing works.'”

Twichell continued that LeBeau asked trustees and Mayor Michael Ferguson to study and adhere to the village’s financial handbook. LeBeau wants that “so we are able to get a hold of this spending before we eliminate the entire fund balance,” Twichell quoted her.

“I want to thank our treasurer for including that statement,” the trustee added. “I think it’s really important to take a hold on our spending. We don’t want to end up like Dunkirk, just spending money without really needing to.”

Shortly after Twichell spoke, LeBeau gave a rather grim report on village finances through the end of April.

The general fund has $6,073,067 in revenues against $7,011,949 in expenditures, for a net loss of $938,873.

The water and sewer funds are also deep in the red. The water fund took in $1,369,858 while spending $2,030,785. That’s a loss of $660,926. Meanwhile, the sewer fund is at minus $543,651 (with revenues at $1,373,757 and expenses at $1,917,407).

Asked to comment on the village finances issue Wednesday, Ferguson said, “I don’t believe there has been excessive spending above and beyond what has already been approved by the board. Maybe that has happened in the past. Our new processes and procedures that were recently developed will see that if this was happening it will end here. Again I believe our department heads have been incredibly responsible.”


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