February 14 2018

FY19 Budgets and Guidelines Discussed at Selectmen Meeting

By: Rich Hosford

Though the May Town Meeting is still months away the town is already hard at work on preparing the FY19 budget.


On Monday the Board of Selectmen voted to approve the current proposed budgets for a variety of town departments. This is still early in the process and many of the details will be worked about with Ways & Means before a full budget is proposed to Town Meeting.


Town Administrator John Petrin started the discussion by outlining the guidelines the departments are working with. He said the goal is to have an FY19 operating budget that is no more than 3.25 percent higher than the FY18 operating budget.


He said that after initial discussions with town departments the operating budget increase they are looking at is in the 2.75 percent range. However, that does not include the School Department, which tends to trend higher in its increases, Petrin said.


“I’m happy to say the departments have worked with us and we will be within the guidelines,” he said.


Petrin explained that some of the factors behind the increase. One is adding an additional police officer, which was previously approved as part of a five-year plan to bolster the department’s ranks.


Another factor will be an increase in the Public Works Department for the water division. Petrin said a request for two new positions was denied last year and that they would be back with another request this year. That request may be two positions again.


Overall, he said, the increases in other departments will be modest and well within the guidelines.


“I want to thank the department heads for following the guidelines, for not asking for anything outrageous,” he said. “This year we needed to pare back, it was not much of a growth year.”


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