Submitted by Finance Committee Chairperson Michael Seibert at the request of The Bedford Citizen
The Finance Committee’s dashboard makes it easy to keep track of Bedford’s financial situation.
The stabilization fund is our long term rainy day fund. We drew it down to the red a couple years ago, and it kept us safe from an override. We’d like to keep it to 2-6% of the overall budget. It’s at 3.1% now. I’d personally be more comfortable if it were closer to the green, and I hope we address it in the fall.
Free cash is our hedge against overestimating revenue sources, and our goal for it is 1% is of the budget. We’re good.
OPEB is the amount we’re squirreling away to cover the unfunded retiree healthcare expenses. Our Annual Required Contribution to eliminate the liability would be about $1M. We’re making some progress, actually much better than most municipalities, but we’re still falling behind in terms of the growth of our long-term liability.
Reserve is our fund to cover smaller unexpected budget shortfalls. Our policy is 1/2 % of the operating budget. We’re good there.
Unused levy is the amount of levy capacity we don’t use. As I showed earlier, we’re only using $276K of $1.276M of new growth, leaving $1M unused, giving ourselves a small tax break, and protecting ourselves from an override.
And lastly, we like to keep debt service (our payments of principal and interest) to 10% or less of the budget. We’re close, but safe. Note that I indicate orange, or caution, for small debt because small debt indicates that we’re probably not investing to maintain our infrastructure. We’re good there.
This was the best Finance Committee report I have ever seen at Town Meeting. Clear, easy to understand (the graphics were fabulous!) and informative. Thank you Mike Siebert for such a great presentation!
Thank you Bedford Citizen for providing real information to the residents of Bedford!!
Well done Mike.
This is outstanding – thank you.