Town of Ludlow Completes Financial Management Review

LUDLOW — The Ludlow Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator Marc Strange are announcing that the Town of Ludlow recently received a state Financial Management Review that is recommending improvements to Town operations. 

The Town requested this free service, provided by the Massachusetts Department of Review Division of Local Services (DLS), to make town operations more efficient and maximize the use of taxpayer dollars. 

The review process included an in-depth look at Ludlow’s financial documents, bylaws, warrant articles, annual budgets, tax recapitulations, debt service schedules, individual audit reports, and more. DLS also interviewed both elected and appointed officials, department heads, administration and office staff. 

The DLS review produced a full operations report, which may be found here.  

“In the face of the pandemic and recent economic hardships and uncertainties, Ludlow has done well to maintain good fiscal health and positive financial trends,” the report states. “We believe our following recommendations will serve to strengthen town operations and ensure Ludlow’s long-term success and stability.”

Recommendations include:

  • Establishing a Government Study Committee. This committee could review topics including comparing roles between a Town Administrator versus a Town Manager, creating a municipal finance department, appointing a Board of Assessors, and establishing clear town committees.
  • Adopting a budget process bylaw. This process would include working to clearly define budget practices, roles and responsibilities of officials, boards, and committees.
  • Outsourcing bill printing and mailing to a third party. Currently Ludlow prints and processes bills, which is excessively time-consuming for staff. Outsourcing this process will free up operations and resources that can be reallocated to other tasks.
  • Performing property inspections rather than outsourcing. Municipalities are required to inspect each parcel of real property at least once every 10 years. Doing inspections in-house would help provide additional control through the implementation of directives, which will ensure continuity before the next certification year.

Town Administrator Strange thanks town staff members and elected and appointed officials who shared their time and expertise with the state review team and plans to work with the Board of Selectmen to implement these recommendations.

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