Most meetings in Wellfleet are remote only, but some are being held in person. Go to www.wellfleet-ma.gov/calendar and click on the meeting you want to watch, then follow the instructions on the agenda.
Thursday, Oct. 6
- Housing Authority, 10 a.m., virtual
- Board of Assessors, 4 p.m. Town Hall
Tuesday, Oct. 11
- Elementary School Committee, 5 p.m., virtual
Thursday, Oct. 13
- Nauset Regional School Committee, 6 p.m., virtual
Free Cash for Christmas
In case you are wondering about the town’s lingering accounting problems, the auditors are still reviewing the books from fiscal 2020 and 2021. The state Dept. of Revenue wants to have them by Oct. 28.
Town Administrator Rich Waldo said the Oct. 28 deadline is doable, and auditors Powers & Sullivan have already been reviewing for a month the thousands of corrections made to the books from 2020 — when the accounting dept. fell apart due to numerous staffing and training problems.
They must also audit fiscal 2021, Waldo told the select board on Sept. 27. The auditors will send their review to the DOR, which should then be able to certify the free cash from 2020 and 2021. And 2022 should come soon after. Waldo said he expects it all to be done by December.
Certification of free cash will do more than free up somewhere between $1 million and $3 million: it should also help the town maintain its AAA bond rating. This gets the town lower interest rates when it needs to borrow money for large projects.
The town does have plans for some long-term borrowing. Debt exclusions to buy Maurice’s Campground for $6.5 million and add a sprinkler system to the Wellfleet Elementary School for $2.2 million were both approved by voters, but the borrowing will be done in 2023, Waldo said. By then, the town will have its free cash, a full DOR review, and systems in place to prevent a repeat of 2020’s accounting disaster, he said.
Waldo said he does not expect the town’s bond rating to be affected by the accounting crisis. “They are going to ask questions, and I think we have good answers,” he said. Wellfleet used stabilization funds in place of free cash, he added. Interim accountants were brought in to correct mistakes.
“The auditors feel these are good corrections, and we are going to have our free cash,” Waldo said. —K.C. Myers