Woodstock considers investing

Woodstock is looking to create an investment policy as part of the town’s strategic operating plan.

An investment policy would allow the town to invest its idle cash from its general fund and its enterprise, or public utilities, fund in a way to earn more than the minimal interest gains in the town’s existing bank account.

“While participating in investment programs permitted for localities has not been a priority in recent years due to very low interest rates, as we see the economy improving, we become more excited about the ability to earn additional interest revenue,” said Town Manager Angela Clem.

The town will start to look at investment options available, such as the local government investment pool and the Virginia investment pool — both of which are authorized by Virginia for municipalities to participate in.

John O’Neill, the town’s finance director, is drafting the policy that will then be considered by town administrators, the finance committee and ultimately sent to the Town Council for review and approval.

Administrators will have to conduct a cash flow analysis to determine how much they want to invest, Clem said. The money invested will be money reserved for future needs.

Woodstock has historically invested in money markets, CDs, and has held its funds in interest bearing accounts. Those short term investments have either matured or the programs have ceased. The town, as a proactive measure, is reevaluating investment options. It is prudent for localities to do this on a regular basis.

The town is also saving money.

Woodstock employees who drive town vehicles recently successfully completed a drivers training program known as “Where the Rubber Meets the Road.

The program, offered by the Virginia Municipal Leaque, saves the town five percent, on its auto liability insurance. The town is still obtaining a quote, so the actual amount of savings is unknown