PETERBOROUGH — Local officials Tuesday night approved spending up to $1.8 million from a municipal reserve fund to help replace the money that cybercriminals stole from the town this summer.

Many residents voiced their outrage over the scam, in which Peterborough lost $2.3 million before recovering a portion of that recently. Selectboard members then voted 3-0 to tap the town’s unrestricted fund balance to help make up the remaining budget gap.

That account comprises public funds held from when the town has spent less than initially planned or when it collected more taxes than it needed, Town Administrator Nicole MacStay said at the selectboard meeting. It can be used to offset future taxes, cover day-to-day expenses or resolve emergencies, she said.

MacStay told attendees — many of whom voiced their displeasure with Peterborough officials and staff over the scam — that with construction on the Main Street bridge reaching a “critical phase,” the extra cash is needed before more tax revenue and public grants are available next year. Even though New Hampshire’s transportation department is footing most of that $8 million project, she said Peterborough pays the contractors in full before getting reimbursed later.

“That’s really where the complication is with regard to tax flows,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of money…

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