Delivered to 15,000 Plainfield "doorsteps" Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

7th Street revolving loan fund?

'Gifts' to the city?

More poking around in Plainfield's audit report for CY2012 led me to notice three trust funds whose dedications by rider were denied by the state's Division of Local Government Services (DLGS).

Reason? Lack of supporting documentation.

It was shocking that backup information was not supplied for either the Workers Compensation or Medical self-insurance Trust Funds.

But the third fund was more curious: a 7th Street Revolving Loan Fund.

Dedication by Rider is a technique set up by the State for local units (including municipalities and counties) to set aside (dedicate by rider) funds received (gift, grant or other) that are to be expended over a period of time exceeding the current year.

The governing body sets up the fund by a resolution, which must be approved by DLGS.

Councilor Mapp has often noted the importance of using this technique to set funds aside for a specific purpose, most recently in discussing the fate of the Urban Enterprise Zone funds which were turned back to the city when Gov. Christie terminated the program in 2011.

It occurs to me that the device could also have been used, when formerly Plainfield was on a fiscal year calendar, to handle the overlap of expenditures for the July 4th Parade, which always straddled the end of one and beginning of another fiscal year.

For now, the question remains as to what exactly the '7th Street Revolving Loan Fund' is, how big it is, and for what it is used (or not used, as the case may be).

And then there is the further thought that in some communities, these trust funds are used to handle specific GIFTS to the city. Recent instances include the City of Summit where the Summit Area Development Corporation is donating $39,000 for its Promenade and Village Green project, and the City of Linden, which received a gift of $350,000 from a resident to make over a playground in her husband's name, and an estate's bequest of $200,000 for emergency equipment for the Fired Department.

Gifts to the city for public projects?

Now there's a thought for a new administration to ponder.

Once Plainfield's fiscal house has been put in order, of course.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.