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New Insurance Carrier to Save Cranford $70K

The township will also accrue surplus funds by canceling outstanding balances.

The Township of Cranford will see significant savings through its insurance carrier in the upcoming year, according to the Township’s insurance broker.

By using Garden State Insurance, the Township will see a reduction of $70,000 from what it spent in the previous year.

The broker added at the Monday workshop meeting that Cranford already saves $450,000 overall by using a joint insurance fund as opposed to a standard insurance company.

Also during the workshop meeting on Monday, acting CFO, Ken DeRoberts, explained that the township should cancel outstanding balances, some of which date back to 1991.

He explained that there is no hard and fast rule on how to go about it, but it is typically best practice to cancel them in order to clean them off the books.

According to DeRoberts, $340,000 will go to the Township’s capital surplus, while 21,000 will go to the capital improvement fund. He added that the $21,000 will give the Township approximately $500,000 in borrowing power.

Mayor Tom Hannen questioned if some of the money could be allocated towards the 2014 budget.

DeRoberts explained that the finance department is looking to complete this by the end of the year so that the money could be used in 2014.

“That’s why we want to get it done by the end of the year,” DeRoberts said. “Our recommendation would be to capture this money to put in reserve for tax appeals.”

Commissioner Kevin Campbell asked if it was legally acceptable to use money initially borrowed for improvement projects to be put towards tax appeals, which DeRoberts said yes.

Several of the monies came from reimbursement grants and the township never completed the projects.

For example, DeRoberts mentioned an $115,000 grant that the Township did not match, as well as an $87,000 that they did not match.

Mayor Hannen questioned if the committee could attribute the issue to a lack of follow-up. He added that the Township should have a better system to know what grant money has been allocated and to what projects as the committees change.

During the public portion of the meeting, Resident Leo McMahon questioned how the Edmunds system was working for the township. Edmunds is one of the leading accounting software programs that the Township acquired in 2011.

Commissioner Ed O’Malley explained that the Township has been implementing the system since it was commissioned in 2011.

Finance commissioner, Andy Kalnins, said that Township has been going back and finding errors and only data since 2012 has been implemented into the system.

“This budget cycle will be the first time we have two years of data in the system,” he explained.

DeRoberts also explained during his report that the system was initially implemented incorrectly and the Township and Edmund’s have been fixing the errors and are almost up to speed.

As the department heads submit their budget information by the end of the year, they will also be provided with a instruction sheet for the Edmund’s system, according to DeRoberts. 

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