East Providence finances may soon be under state control

PROVIDENCE, RI – Gubernatorial spokeswoman Christine Hunsinger says the state Department of Revenue will have a statement today about the finances of East Providence. On Friday, East Providence Mayor Bruce Rogers told the Associated Press he expected the state to appoint a financial overseer.

East Providence could be going down the road bankrupt Central Falls has taken. A financial overseer could be appointed as soon as today. That would give the state authority over the city's budgets and contracts. East Providence city councilor William Conley Jr. says he would prefer for the city to dig itself out of the financial hole.

"If the state takes the initial step with an overseer maybe in some respects it would be nice to have that kind of assistance," says Conley. "But I still feel a public and moral obligation to be a part of the solution and not just hand it over to the state to solve."

East Providence ended its fiscal year last month with a $7 million deficit but the mayor says they have identified ways to reduce it to $3 million. Councilor Conley says most of the debt has been incurred by the school department.

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