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For the case outlined below, submit your written responses to the numbered answers below in the assignment area and your completed/revised spreadsheet .
Village of Typical, New York – Highway Service Costs Case Study
The Excel spreadsheet for the Village of Typical, New York includes four years of expenditures for street services. The village has ten miles of streets that it maintains with a staff of five permanent employees including a street foreman and with oversight from the village’s Superintendent of Public Works. The table at the bottom provides a brief description of the expenditure categories in the excel table.
The village manager wants to look at village operating costs for street maintenance in comparison to a group of nearby municipalities. She has asked you to calculate costs per mile for street maintenance and average it over the last four years -2016 through 2019. As a part of this process the manager has asked you to contact the other nearby villages and coordinate with them in calculating and comparing average per mile street maintenance cost for the last four years.
Is average cost per mile a “unit cost” according the definition provided by the Michel reading? Why or why not?
To calculate a per mile cost for street maintenance are there any expenditures in the list of “Operating Expenditures” that you would want to exclude from this calculation of unit cost because they don’t appear to be street maintenance costs? Please identify those expenditures you would exclude and explain why. In particular discuss if you will include employee benefits in calculating per mile costs.
In the spreadsheet provided – calculate the per mile cost for each year, based on your decisions about excluding costs in question 2 above. Then calculate an average per mile cost across all four years in the table (2016 through 2019).
What options would you have when you communicate with the other nearby villages so that your estimate of per mile costs with be consistent and comparable for your manager? Please explain.
Looking at the annual percent change figures in the table, are there any expenditure areas that appear to represent fixed costs for highway services? explain in sentence or two.
After communicating with the other villages you find that they treat the costs of the Village Clerk-Treasurer’s expenditures as indirect cost for streets and other services . The Clerk-Treasurer provides a variety support activities to village departments, including –payment of bills, payroll management and personnel paperwork, etc. The clerk-treasurer’s office in your village indicated that they did not have good records for allocating the cost of their services across the three affected departments – Police, Fire and Streets. As a first cut at making an allocation of these indirect costs you decide to calculate a four year average of the total expenditures for each department and use those averages to calculate a percent of total spending by department to use for allocation. Total spending for the Clerk-Treasurer, and the Police, Fire and Street Departments are in the “Clerk-Treasurer” tab on the Excel workbook. Click on that tab and calculate the averages and then use the percent that the four year average for highway expenditures of the average total costs across all three services. Go ahead and make this calculation to allocate Clerk-Treasurer expenses and adjust your four year average cost per mile. How much did the four year average cost per mile increase after including indirect costs from the clerk-treasurer’s expenditures?
After you calculate these revised costs per mile your manager reminds you that about 40% of the street department’s labor is used for picking up residential leaves and other garden debris over the course of the year. Describe what adjustments you would make to acknowledge this labor cost change in calculating a revised total street costs. You do not need to calculate this change in the spreadsheet – just describe in a paragraph the adjustments you would make.
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