Fast on the heels of the Central Falls financial collapse and bankruptcy filing is emerging notice of similar troubles brewing in West Warwick, which has been struggling with its debt problems for years now. A second municipal failure would be an ominous turn for RI under the severe circumstances we’re experiencing, and which are going to continue for the foreseeable future. While West Warwick is a larger entity than miniscule CF with a much larger and varied tax base, the two municipalities have much in common: outsize pension and healthcare obligations (unfunded liability), high unemployment rates, a depressed main street, and junk status bonds. Cash flow compared to obligations is precarious. Already West Warwick is talking about the need to share services or even merge with a neighboring community.
Is West Warwick the next domino to fall?