On July 30 the Town made its last bond payment for outstanding debt tied to the municipal pool and water and sewer improvements from the 1996 Annexation agreement. Being debt free speaks volumes about the sound financial guidance of the Town Council and staff over the last decades. There are only a handful, if any, local governments in the Commonwealth or Country that can make the claim of being “debt free”.
So we are debt free….now what?
The Town will continue its practice of “pay as you go” funding of capital projects. You may notice that in some years the Town spends significant amounts to construct major capital projects (see Henry Clay Road or downtown drainage improvements), while in other years the construction slows to simpler paving and sidewalk repairs. This is because the Town treats its Capital Project Fund like a savings account, not a credit card. In those slower years the Town is “saving up” so it can accomplish a larger project which less patient governments may have taken out debt to accomplish more quickly. While the pay as you go model may be slightly slower than the debt approach it does save taxpayers a significant amount of money in the form of interest on the debt.
Congratulate yourselves Ashland, this is a great accomplishment.