AAATA Board OKs FY 2014 Work Plan

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority’s work plan for the coming fiscal year has been approved by the AAATA board. It’s organized under five broad categories: (1) transportation services; (2) research and development initiatives; (3) programs, partnerships, and external relations; (4) capital projects; and (5) management responsibilities and initiatives. [.pdf of AAATA work plan]

The AAATA’s fiscal year starts in October. So staff are working to finalize an FY 2014 budget to support that work plan. That budget will be presented to the board at its Sept. 26, 2013 meeting.

The budget picture for the coming year will be eased somewhat compared to last year, when the AAATA had to scramble to reduce its planned budget based on roughly $800,000 less in state operating assistance (local bus operating) than had been planned for. Over the last year, the state legislature approved supplemental funding for transit agencies statewide that more than erased that shortfall. The AAATA’s share of the statewide allocation was $985,000.

Instead of a planned use of fund balance this year, the AAATA controller Phil Webb is now projecting that the organization will end the year with a $400,000 surplus. Of that amount, $300,000 would be used to restore the AAATA’s operating reserves to the 3-month minimum required by board policy. That will leave the AAATA with a $100,000 net surplus this year for a budget that called for $32.7 million in expenditures.

Next year’s FY 2014 budget is forecast to be balanced, with a $22,000 surplus. It relies on state operating assistance levels that would remain consistent with what the AAATA received this past year, after the supplemental funding was approved. That’s an assumption that the Michigan Dept. of Transportation has indicated is reasonable, according to AAATA officials.

This brief was filed from the downtown location of the Ann Arbor District Library at 343 S. Fifth, where the AAATA board holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]