Auditors laud Cambridge financial health

Cambridge seal
CAMBRIDGE—PKS & Company is the firm that audits the city of Cambridge accounts, and on Monday evening, they presented their positive findings to the commissioners and mayor. Michael Kleger, CPA, said, “It took five years to get positive results, but Cambridge is now in a healthy financial position.” His associate, Leslie Michalik, CPA, presented the colorful pie charts that spell out the numbers. Revenues are up from fees, fines, licenses and taxes; total expenditures for debt and public service came in under budget. The general fund balance is up by a quarter of a million. In sum, more in, less out. Sounds good.

Permits were issued to the Tiger Group Cub Scouts to plant a tree in Great Marsh. They’ll be planting and placing a marker before Dec. 5. A second permit and noise variance went to Kathy Mowbray, representing a group holding a candlelight prayer service at Cannery Row on Race Street. The prayers and speeches start at 7 P.M. and end at 10 P.M.

Financing for three police cars was approved by the council. The interest rate at Provident State Bank was 1.89%. Other bids ranged up to 2.14%.

So far, it was all good news until Gene Tolley came to discuss the 500 block of Race Street. His property is next to the partial collapse of the Hearn Building, which has forced street closings. But, reports Tolley, the continuing threat of additional collapse leaves him wondering what will happen to his property. His building suffered damage, which he has been ordered to repair, but he can’t even access the area. Since then more bricks on his property have fallen due to the partially collapsed building. He asks, “How long will it take to determine action with grants and investors still in the dream stage?” Should that dream come true, will the Historic Preservation’s intent to save that building come at the price of additional harm to Mr. Tolley’s building? He is looking for rescue and relief, and wonders if it will be forthcoming in time. “I can’t live in it, I can’t fix it up. I can’t even get in.” Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley iterated the number of parties involved in working out a solution which include a putative builder and investors, Dorchester County commissioners, and Historic Preservation and state rules…and the Tolleys, who are directly affected.

In other matters, the council got a first look at the introduction of ordinances to the Unified Development Code, which City Planner Patricia Escher is working on. At the next council meeting, the ordinances will be discussed in public hearing. They include amendments to define facilities for production of medical marijuana.

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