Northborough town officials concerned about Fiscal Year 2022

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By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer

Northborough – Northborough Town Financial Director Jason Little and Northborough Town Administrator John Coderre updated the Board of Selectmen on the status of the budget during the Board’s Sept. 28 meeting.

The biggest issue is that planning for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 is difficult because of the limited available data and information from FY2021.

Coderre’s sentiments are similar to those expressed by Gov. Charlie Baker.

“We will close FY20 okay,” said Coderre. “We will get by in 2021. We have a balanced budget as of right now that assumes significant cuts in state aid, which is not clear if they will materialize or not. My concern largely is the issue of 2022 because the problem is we do not know where FY21 is at this point in time, and so it is hard when you don’t have data points.”

Conservative planning is the focus. Postponing or restructuring projects may be needed.

“We are not going to have a lot for capital improvement,” said Coderre. “This is going to be the trend for the next couple of years. Budgets are going to get tight and surpluses are going to get tight.”

Department heads have been asked to bring forward budgets containing minimal increases and not to spend funds unless absolutely essential.

“The upcoming budget for FY2022 has the possibility to have some very significant implications for our level of service delivery,” said Coderre. “People need to be aware. That is what these numbers are telling us now–2022 will be an extremely difficult year.”

The budget will continue to be reviewed as part of the process.

“It’s about dealing with difficult information or unpleasant information, but we have always dealt with it and we will continue to deal with it,” he said.