N. Providence Projects Surplus Second Year in a Row
While many cities and towns in Rhode Island are in the red, town officials in North Providence are projecting a surplus of roughly $750,000 on the municipal side of the budget.
It is the second year in a row Mayor Charles Lombardi has put the town in the black.
“We've said no when no needed to be said,” Lombardi said when asked how the town is pulling it off. “We haven't jeopardized any services. We're down 37 positions in our town, but we are getting the job done.”
Three years ago Lombardi borrowed $10 million to pay off the town's debt; however, North Providence is not free of financial problems.
This year's surplus may be eaten up by the school department. It is short about the same amount as the surplus.
“Mayors, councilors and town administrators have to answer for the school department,” Lombardi added. “That's not fair.”
Lombardi thinks the town should have a say in how the school department spends its money. He blames the school for draining the overall town budget.
“It shouldn't be an us and them, the school department and the municipal government. The finances all come from one place and that's the taxpayer's pocket,” Lombardi said.
The school department is not just weighing down the budget in North Providence, but also in East Providence, which is one of the reasons why the state has stepped in to help there.