$48M set to flow back into city coffers

Recorder Staff
Sunday, February 04, 2018

GREENFIELD — The city’s mayor and finance director have submitted more than $48 million in borrowing rescission orders to the City Council for its meeting this month, representing borrowing authorized by the council that was not used for various reasons.

“In the simplest terms, this is closing down credit lines following good fiscal management practices,” finance director Elizabeth Braccia said in a news release.

The town has a statutory limit on borrowing authorization, and this rescission would release the borrowing commitment for finished projects so that money can be committed to new projects. The borrowing that is being rescinded was not used either because the project came in under budget or due to the requirement that reimbursed projects must be authorized at the total project cost, even though the city will not spend the total amount.

“This financial move is in line with our commitment to the community and to update and upgrade to stay current and competitive,” Mayor William Martin said in the release.

Martin said there is a constant authorization for borrowing, but the aggregate number is what’s important.

“The spike was due to the funding authorization for the High School for 100 percent of the projected project cost,” he said. “It added $66 million to the authorized borrowing, even though we only spend about 20 percent of that.”

Braccia added that the town does its best to conservatively estimate the cost of large, complex, multi-million dollar projects.

“These rescissions represent getting a good deal for the taxpayer, either by finding additional funding sources and/or by obtaining lower prices due to competitive bidding.”

Martin said over the past 30 years, Greenfield has taken an extremely conservative financial position, which has led to declining infrastructure and deferred maintenance.

“I have taken a different approach, to capitalize on the current economy which offered low interest rates and competitive construction costs,” he said. “This has helped us deliver under-budget projects.”