The little town that does
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Lyndeborough is the smallest town in The Cabinet’s coverage area, but when it comes to planning for the future, especially for future spending, it just might be the smartest.
Lyndeborough uses a capital reserve fund concept to prepare for major expenditures like fire trucks or road graders, the kind of things all towns find themselves needing. Other towns wait and then bond such purchases and if that works for them, fine. But it seems to us that saving a little bit each year so you’re prepared 15 years down the line just makes sense.
Each year at its Town Meeting, Lyndeborough asks voters, in warrant articles, to put away a little bit for several projects. And each year, after some debate, usually, voters do exactly that.
This year, for instance, voters will be asked to put aside a total of $273,500 for a number of future purchases and we expect they’ll agree. Some will want to discuss a particular item and that’s perfectly natural. That’s what Town Meeting is still about in towns that still have it.
But in the end, we’d be surprised if all capital reserve warrant articles aren’t approved. Then, 15 or 20 years down the road, when the time comes to buy a particular piece of equipment, Lyndeborough will have most of the money already available.
Sure, it hits taxpayers a little bit each year but a little bit each year is called, in our estimation, prior planning.
Those towns that think bonding is the best way to go should stick with it, of course, but for Lyndeborough, capital reserve funds seem to work just fine.