The Federal Emergency Management Agency descended and Town of Windsor CFO Dean Moyer and his staff found themselves managing a disaster with color-coded payment forms so the town could get reimbursed for the damage.
“We got reimbursed for a lot of it through insurance and federal aid,” Moyer said. “But we (the town) decided to clear the debris and that was about $500,000 out of pocket.”
Before the tornado, which was followed by the national recession, the Town of Windsor was doing well. The population was up, as were revenues. While increasing revenues bring a smile to any CFO’s face, Moyer said the town’s explosive growth created some challenges.
When Moyer joined the Town of Windsor in 1998 as the town’s 42nd employee, the town’s population was approximately 5,000 and its operating budget was about $12 million. Today, the Town of Windsor has approximately 96 employees, 20,000 residents and an operating budget of $30 million.
“We were going from a small town to a large town in a hurry and it was hard to keep everything in order,” Moyer said. “When things are happening that quickly, you worry if you’re spending money in the right places. You wonder, are we doing the right thing?”
For the first few years, Moyer essentially ran the finance department on his own. With the addition of staff — the finance department now has four people — and a growing IT department, the Town of Windsor has been able to add some bells and whistles to how it conducts its finances including giving residents online payment options.
In the next few years, Moyer would like to expand these efforts and allow residents to submit sales tax returns online.