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Spending spree: Donchess wants to spend surplus

August 14. 2018 10:25PM

We want to give full credit to Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess for keeping city spending under budget for the year, resulting in a $4 million surplus.

But why does Donchess feel it necessary to spend every extra dollar right away?

Donchess is asking aldermen to set up escrow accounts to spend the surplus, rather than carry it into next year’s budget.

About $1.7 million is for projects already authorized, but which were delayed beyond the end of the fiscal year. But the remaining $2.3 million would be new spending that was not included in the last budget.

Donchess has all sorts of ideas for how to spend the extra cash, such as $20,000 for playground equipment, $10,000 for street planters, and $100,000 for sidewalk improvements. He also wants to set money in reserve for capital expenditures and school department retirements.

None of the spending seems unreasonable, but none of it is necessary now. Donchess should include these items in next year’s budget.

Local officials too often see surpluses as a reason to spend, rather than a chance to provide a break to property taxpayers in the next budget.

Local and County Government Editorial

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