GFOA Award: I am pleased to announce that the Town is the recipient of a Certificate of Achievement in Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for our newly completed comprehensive annual financial report or CAFR. Thanks to the hard work of Town Accountant Andrea Mainville, the Town received this award which is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting. It is particularly notable that Andrea was able to attain this significant accomplishment the first time we embarked on an expanded financial report. Usually it takes a few tries to get to an award winning level. The more comprehensive report aims to provide an in-depth look at the Town’s financial condition and more clearly communicate the long term trends of our revenues and expenditures. The full report can be found on the Town’s web site.
At over 100 pages long, the report contains an extensive amount of details regarding town revenues and expenditures, not only for Fiscal Year 2016, but also trends dating back to 2007. This ten year perspective provides insights into the different rates of growth for various municipal services.
The report provides another tool for us to use as we strive to manage town expenditures and as we strive to ensure our expenditures match our priorities. Congratulations to Town Accountant Andrea Mainville for a job well done. Coupled with our strong AAA bond rating, residents can have confidence in the thorough job being done accounting for all town revenues and expenditures.
Compost Site Update: Frequent visitors to the Town’s compost site off upper School Street may have noticed some changes to the operations. These changes have occurred as we transition to a fully integrated system for our young but growing curbside composting program. While still a work in progress, the compost site is getting better organized and will be generating high quality compost for residents, closing the loop on organic materials and saving money rather than unnecessarily incinerating organics with your non-compostable trash.
Black Earth Compost is now managing the compost site as part of our new agreement with them to operate our curbside compost program. They are bringing the curbside collections of kitchen scraps, etc. to the site and incorporating these materials along with the brush, leaves and grass clippings that residents drop off to create a nutrient rich finished compost product. Residents may pick-up finished compost for use around their home gardens. (Pails are available or bring your own!)
The compost site is open to the public twice a week, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9AM to 3PM. Sunday hours will be added in the near future. 3 Drop off stations are available for brush, leaves and clippings. Whether you stop by the compost site or see the collection truck around town, feel free to say hello to Manchester native Andrew Brousseau, who has a masters in organic waste management or Conor Miller, who grew up with a family organics business. These two young entrepreneurs are helping us lead the way in better managing our waste stream. They also have new contracts with Salem, Beverly and Newburyport.
And speaking of our waste stream, improved handling of materials at the transfer station is underway. New requirements from the state for better separation of different materials are increasing our cost of operations at the transfer station. Consequently, new fees for the required stickers for dropping of specialty items from white goods to electronics will be implemented soon. A more detailed explanation of the changes will be the topic of an upcoming article. Complete information will be at the DPW page of the Town’s web site.