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The Valley Reporter
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Waitsfield, VT 05673

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‘Relating to the deficit’

To The Editor:

In reading the article "How did Duxbury end up owing $228,000 to the bank?"there are several points I would like to make as it relates to the deficit we face.

I did say that if all of the FEMA funds reimbursed were used to repay the line of credit instead of paying for operating expenses the town's budget deficit would have been larger. I did not specifically say the amount would have been $338,000. I do not havean analysis of that breakdown and cannot provide that specific an estimate.

The contention that the town has sufficient funds to repay the line of credit from its funds is inaccurate. A review of the balance sheet shows the total cash in the general fund as $442,180, a look at the liabilities in that account show a due to otherfunds amount of $275,355. The town's reserve and escrow funds are kept in one account along with the cash; the result is a net cash position of $166,825. These funds along with collections from delinquent taxes during the first quarter helped to fund the town through mid-April of 2014. As has been done in the past, the town is now using the reserve/escrow balances to fund the day-to-day operations.

A review of the total governmental funds column demonstrates this as well, the due to other funds liability reduces the total assets to $543,915,reflecting the description in item two above and demonstrating that the town does not have the funds needed to repay the line of credit.

It is true that the 2013 deficit is $110,344; however, the total deficit the town faces is $338,486 with the addition of the unpaid line of credit balance. The town has been advised to amortize both over five years to minimize the impact on the town's tax rate. Additionally, it is imperative that we return the $110,344 to the general fund. We are also committed to maintaining the capital reserve and escrow accountsin line with the 20-year plan we provided at Town Meeting.

Our plans going forwardinclude segregating our reserve and escrow funds from the general fund checkbook,as well asbuilding up our operating cash in our general fund.Of even greater significance would bethe availability of accurate and timely financial information and reports willhelp facilitate the decisions of the select board.

Dick Charland, chair

Duxbury Select Board


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