As part of our ongoing efforts to keep you informed, I am writing to share an update on three important issues related to the financial well-being of the Town of East Greenwich that have recently come to my attention.
As you may have heard, the Town has requested an extension in the filing of its annual financial audit to March 31st. Here are some of the reasons for that request:
- When the Town took over the former East Greenwich Fire District in 2013, it also took on potential liabilities for the district’s illegally-collected impact fees, which could ultimately cost the Town more than a million dollars. This information was not disclosed to the Town or its residents, as little due diligence was done at the time. There is no evidence that the Town conducted any fiscal analysis or risk assessment on the economic ramifications of taking over the former Fire District as a Town department.
- We recently learned that starting in 2016, the Town failed to make payments on a general obligation bond that was refunded a month prior to its first due date. There should have been a tracking schedule in place with multiple layers of oversight, internally and externally.
- We have also found inconsistencies that are requiring us to review multiple prior-year audits. We are looking into these inconsistencies to determine the appropriate course of action for prior-period reporting.
We are working to correct these significant errors of the past to ensure that our administration sets the Town on solid financial footing. In the coming weeks, we will continue to share developments about our progress on our website and in our e-newsletter. We are also establishing a social media presence in the near future to further support our efforts to provide you with accessible information about your community.