Warwick, RI- May 6th, 2010- Ken Block, Moderate Party Candidate for Governor, called upon the state to establish a budget and review commission in Woonsocket. Last week, Moody’s Investor Service downgraded the city’s bond rating to junk status making it highly unlikely that Woonsocket will have access to bank loans that the city often uses for capitol improvements, refinancing of existing debt and to maintain cash flow.
“This is why we need my economic plan. All over Rhode Island our cities and towns are struggling. We need a comprehensive approach to revitalize Rhode Island so that our cities and towns don’t fall so far and so fast before we do something,” Block stated.
Woonsocket’s fiscal problems are significant. Recently, it was discovered that the school department that was believed to be running a $800,000 surplus will end the year with a 3.5 million dollar deficit. The municipal department could end the year with over an 8 million dollar deficit.
“The citizens of Woonsocket and all the rest of Rhode Island need action now. We can’t afford to wait. The State must establish the commission today,” said Ken Block. “It is critical that we take all necessary actions to preserve the credit markets confidence in our town’s financial stability.
Every day, we send another negative signal to the world about our lack of financial stability. Central Falls recently sought permission to declare bankruptcy. Now, Woonsocket’s rating has fallen to junk bond status. The state must be proactive in stopping the spread of this fiscal crisis.”
“Moody’s specifically sighted a lack of fiscal management, a lack of action and refusal to make tough decisions by local elected officials and “persistent overspending” as major reasons for this action.”
Woonsocket has 9 million in TANS due for repayment on July 1st and just last week the school department bounced $2 million dollars worth of payroll checks.
“Rhode Island law specifically allows for the State to intervene and they must do so now. “