Report shows Beacon Falls fund balance low

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BEACON FALLS — The town’s fund balance is too low, at least according to an auditor’s report.

Attorney Michael Zemaitis, who performed the town’s audit, informed the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance that the town’s current fund balance was around 4.3 percent March 27, when the boards met jointly to receive the auditor’s report.

According to Zemaitis, the fund balance is so low that the town would not be able to find a good rate if they wanted to bond any high priced projects.

“Some bonding companies will give better rates starting at 5 percent, though most give out good rates at 10 percent. There are some that want to see a town have a 15 percent fund balance,” Zemaitis said.

Zemaitis said that the town should try for a 7.5 percent fund balance, which would put it on a much better standing.

The joint boards made no formal motion or decision regarding the fund balance during the meeting.

In a subsequent interview, First Selectman Gerard Smith said that he was not happy with the current standing of the fund balance. However, he said, there are no immediate plans in place to begin raising the fund balance.

Smith explained that a town’s fund balance only affects the rates for bonding, and Beacon Falls has no long-term bonding projects that it will be taking on currently.

Board of Finance Chair Marc Bronn could not be reached for comment.