Peterborough sets date to discuss possible budget over-expenditures due to scam

  • The Peterborough Town House Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/8/2021 12:15:59 PM

The Peterborough Select Board will hold a public hearing Sept. 21 regarding the $2.3 million of taxpayer money stolen by cybercriminals. At the hearing, the Select Board is expected to consider requesting emergency approval to over-expend funds this fiscal year.

Town Administrator Nicole MacStay clarified at Tuesday’s meeting that the over-expenditure in question would not exceed $2,347,310.12, the amount stolen by scammers who intercepted multiple payments to contractors and the ConVal school district this summer. She also said that she did not anticipate needing to expend that amount of money, as historically the town has had money in the budget left over. 

Select Board members thanked MacStay for her “steadfast ways” and “support” during the crisis. Chair Tyler Ward said, “It’s pretty incredible what you’re doing. Thanks for not just throwing your hands up and running out the door.”

The hearing is to allow for public input on the issue, but MacStay said that due to the limitations of the Selectmen’s Meeting Room, the town is advising that most people stay home and submit questions or comment ahead of time.

The Select Board also voted to renew the town’s franchise agreement with Comcast Tuesday night, after hearing public comment and reviewing some details of the agreement. 

“It’s relatively straightforward,” said MacStay, noting that some minor changes have been made to the agreement, including an expansion of standard installation distance from 150 feet to 300 feet, reducing costs for new subscribers in town, and a reduced density requirement for service to unserved areas from 40 homes per mile to 30 homes per mile, which would allow more areas to be serviced by Comcast at a lower cost to subscribers. The renewal is for ten years.

MacStay also reported to the board that the Consolidated internet build-out is ahead of schedule – the town’s Consolidated liaison reported to MacStay that they will be getting ready to connect customers by the end of December, which is 12 to 18 months ahead of schedule. 

“It’ll be a nice Christmas gift,” Ward said. 

The hearing regarding emergency expenditures and over-expenditures will be held in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room at 5 p.m. on Sept. 21.


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