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Greenfield’s ‘free cash’ certified at unexpected surplus

GREENFIELD — The state has certified the town’s “free cash” surplus at $1.7 million this year, about a half-million more than Greenfield has seen each year over the past five years, town officials say.

Greenfield Finance Director Marjorie Lane Kelly said the town has certified $1,784,129, to be exact.

Over the past five years, the town hasn’t seen surplus of more than $1.2 million in a year.

“This is because of increased revenues and less expenditures than we planned for,” said Kelly. “This is good news.”

Kelly said some of the increased revenues came from the town collecting more in tax titles and back taxes this past year, as well as receiving more money for permits and licenses than it expected.

She said some of the town’s departments returned money from their budgets, because they ran “efficiently and tight,” without affecting services to the town’s residents.

Kelly said most of the money, about $1.1 million, will go into the town’s “rainy day” account. That will bring the total of that account up to about $2.6 million.

She said the rest will go into accounts that cover contract agreements and capital stabilization for special projects the town may need to pay for during the year. Mayor William Martin said the funds will be available through this fiscal year, which ends June 30, and any money that isn’t used would become part of next year’s surplus.

“We’ve worked really hard to get to this point,” said Martin. “Our departments have done really well.”

Kelly said central maintenance, police, fire and trash collection all turned back some money to the town.

She said debt was also reduced and the town is paying lower interest on some of its debt.

The town collected $458,000 in property tax accounts delinquent more than nine months and $350,000 from construction and utility companies for delayed payments for police details, said Kelly.

She said the town always budgets conservatively so that there aren’t any bad surprises during the year.

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