St. Clair Township Released from Fiscal Emergency
Columbus – St. Clair Township has regained financial stability after spending more than four and a half years in a state of fiscal emergency, Auditor of State Dave Yost announced today.
The Butler County township of 6,908 people was placed in fiscal emergency on May 15, 2014, in response to three deficit fund balances that totaled $190,159 as of Dec. 31, 2013. The township has since eliminated those deficits, according to a follow-up review by the Auditor’s office.
“Many local governments struggle to find a healthy balance between revenue and expenses,” Auditor Yost said. “I applaud the citizens and leaders of St. Clair Township for making the sacrifices necessary to achieve that balance.”
To combat the deficits, the township generated an additional $32,000 in annual revenue by increasing the special assessment rate for street lighting.
Township officials also reduced general fund spending by $62,000 each year by reallocating salaries and benefits to different funds. An additional $2,000 in annual savings resulted from negotiations with Duke Energy to lower the electricity rate for township buildings.
The township also had to satisfy the following requirements to be released from fiscal emergency:
- Adopted and implemented an effective financial accounting and reporting system;
- Corrected or eliminated all of the fiscal emergency conditions; no new conditions have occurred, and it appears that, based on the five-year forecast, the township will remain out of fiscal emergency during the forecast period,
- Met the major objectives of the financial recovery plan; and
- Prepared a five-year forecast in accordance with standards issued by the Auditor of State, and the opinion expressed by the Auditor of State is “nonadverse.”
Since 2011, 21 cities, villages and townships have slipped into fiscal emergency. In the same period, the Auditor’s office has released 31 local governments from the status.
A special report released by Auditor Yost in March 2018 details the experiences of officials who overcame fiscal emergencies and provides guidance to local governments in financial trouble.
A full copy of the township’s fiscal emergency termination is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 6,000 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.