Historically, we have kept only a minimal reserve fund here in Bridgewater. The thinking was that your money should stay in your pocket until we absolutely need it. The argument still makes sense, but the world has become a more volatile place and the state has strongly suggested that local governments maintain healthy reserves. The new thinking is that in times of economic trouble, the last thing you need is an emergency tax increase. So, when the word came down from the state’s Auditor of Public Accounts, we set about making a plan.
Council adopted the plan as part of the FY20 budget, and it mandates that we set aside an increasing portion of our sales tax revenue. In that first year, we reserved $45,000, which will pay a few bills, we suppose. This year, we expected to reserve another $84,000, but we’re on pace to hit slightly more than $100,000. And next year, we expect to hold back another $170,000. Building a satisfactory reserve fund will take us a few more years, but we’re pleased with the progress we’re making. And we are very pleased that our children and grandchildren will be better protected in economic downturns.