After all was said and done, the town finished the 2011-12 fiscal year with a surplus of more than a million dollars, according to its new finance director Sal DeCola.
The $1,001,689 surplus will go into the general fund, DeCola said, bringing its total to about $1.5 million, far below the goal of $10 million, or 5 percent of the operating budget that the auditors recommend.
But it's a start, DeCola said.
"We should be very proud to end the year with those numbers," he said.
The fund balance is something that is crucial to bond rating agencies, he said, so it's imperative that the town show an effort to rebuilt it. With the town's $200 million operating budget, it should have a $10 million fund balance, but it has been severely depleted over the past several years to almost nothing.
Some on the Legislative Council questioned the wisdom of not putting the money into the Pension Fund, which also is in crisis mode. But since the possibility of Pension Obligation Bonds is being seriously considered, it's preferable to put the surplus in the fund balance, DeCola said.
"Every step we take there helps," he said. "The ratings agencies are very, very strict and they know we are working on it."