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Auditorâs report shines positive light on townâs fiscal future

Northborough – Given the economic woes that have plagued the nation and have also been felt locally, positive financial news has been a rarity. A recent report from Town Auditor Bill Fraher, however, has the town in strong position despite the struggling economy.

Appearing before the Board of Selectmen at their Nov. 23 meeting, Fraher felt the town’s position was better than most.

“Given the economy and the way things have been going in state and local aid, it’s good to be where you are,” Fraher said.

Among some of the points of emphasis by Fraher were: the stabilization fund has had a positive trend the last five years; a solid bond rating; and the town’s consistency with general spending through the years.

“The fact that (the town has) been able to stay at about 10 to 11 percent shows some good stability,” Fraher said.

Town Administrator John Coderre pointed to the town’s understanding of the potential fiscal problems, and their approach to free cash as a key reason for the strong report.

“Essentially what we are trying to do is reduce our reliance on it for the short term while buying ourselves some time to figure out how we are going to make this adjustment,” Coderre said. “We saw this coming and we didn’t fall into the trap as some communities have to use all of that free cash and create a structural deficit that we would not have been able to overcome.”

In other news, the board heard from Virginia Simms George and Patty Griffin, members of the Community Aff airs Committee, regarding the status of the upcoming yearly holiday tradition, the Holiday Trolley.

Residents can get a jump on their Christmas shopping with a stroll around the town with stops at local businesses. The unique idea is in its fifth year and the anticipation is beginning to grow.

“It’s (intended) to support the local retailers and Main Street America without heading out to the mall and all,” Griffi n said. “S o hopefully everyone can attend.”

The event will take place Dec. 5 from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and will include five different stops. Following the day of shopping will be a tree lighting ceremony in the center of town.

“We invite everyone to come and join us and really set off the holidays with this event,” Simms George said.

Advertisers are still needed and can contact Kim Reed at The Purple Rose at 508- 393-8882 or via e-mail at customerservice@purplerose. com.

Fire Department Captain Bob Theve appeared before the board to promote the start of the Toys for Tots program, intended to bring toys to children in need.

“They are obviously expecting a great need this year due to economic circumstances,” Theve said.

Toys can be dropped off at the local fire station and at town hall. Requirements include a non-violent item for children ages 2-to-13 in its original packaging. Donations will be accepted until Dec. 15.

Families in need of assistance from the program can contact Theve at the station by calling 508-393-1537.

“It’s a wonderful cause every year,” Selectman Fran Bakstran said.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=6082

Posted by on Nov 27 2009. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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