SHIRLEY — You need money in the checking account before you can start paying the bills.
That financial fact of life came up for discussion at the Dec. 20 meeting of the Planning Board.
The board discussed the ongoing issue of the revolving accounts used to pay for the Clerk of the Works and Licensed Site Professional (LSP) at the Apple Orchard Estates housing project. The clerk and LSP oversee work at the Windsor Road development on behalf of the town of Shirley, at the expense of the developer, GFI Shirley.
GFI Shirley had recently paid several bills for these accounts, but as associate board member John Rounds pointed out this week, the board needs to have money in the account ahead of time to pay those bills on its own.
Rounds commented that the town is in a very bad position when work is being done and there isn’t money in the accounts to pay for it, which amounts to a financial liability for Shirley. Rounds suggested that now would be a good time to ask GFI for an estimate of how much more work was needed for the clerk and LSP this spring, to give them time to suggest an amount. However, the board is not required to agree with that estimate.
Board Chairman Charles Colburn commented that there were two sides to the issue, pointing out that recent problems with refilling the account were partly due to the board having only recently hired a new administrative assistant, prior to which time bills were not getting to GFI. Colburn did concede to Rounds that the town should take a more pro-active stance, instead of being reactive.
The board decided to send a letter to GFI requesting an estimate for revolving account expenses for the first quarter of 2008. — Richard Breyer