Friday, January 7, 2005
Selectmen preview FY06 budgets; Galvin proposes million-dollar police force
Carlisle Police Chief Dave Galvin, accompanied by Lieutenant John Sullivan, presented an outline of their FY06 budget to the Board of Selectmen on December 15 prior to appearing before the Finance Committee in January.
When Galvin stepped forward, Chair Tim Hult offered him a fudge brownie from a plateful resting on the head table. "No thanks, we only eat doughnuts," quipped Galvin. The laughter quickly subsided, however, as he presented a police department annual budget exceeding $1 million for the first time in the force's history.
Galvin explained that expenses increased by 1.5% ($10,153) over FY05 and wages increased by 3% ($27,082). Adding in existing contractual changes such as step increases ($1,000), longevity pay increases ($1,650), additional vacation ($7,500) and changes in the educational incentive pay ($2,400) brings the level service budget to $1,041,395.
Galvin also submitted a $1,076,935 growth budget that increases sick time fill-in from six to ten days ($14,000), restores attendance at court hearings to the FY03 level ($6,000), restores cell watch to FY03 level ($9,500), restores staff meetings to four meetings a year ($2,300), increases NEMLEC call-out ($5,000) and covers increased cost of fuel ($2,500).
Galvin's presentation grabbed the attention of Finance Committee (FinCom) Chair David Trask, who was closely following the proceedings in the audience. The Police Department will appear before the FinCom on January 10.
Fire Department FY06 budget
Fire Chief Dave Flannery presented a level service Fire Department budget of $223,578, explaining that the 6.77% increase over FY05 was based on a 1.5% increase in non-wage lines and a 3% increase in wage lines. In addition, he included $1,073 for increased inspections, $1,730 for increased vehicle repairs and maintenance and $6,000 for a second year of EMT stipend. Flannery's growth budget added another $8,000 for part-time secretarial support and $953 to provide more fire prevention support to local establishments, bringing the total to $232,531.
Flannery expects to raise $6,300 from inspection and permit fees in FY05, and a projected $55,000 in revenue from ambulance receipts. There was no major resistance to Flannery's budget from the Selectmen.
Trails Committee seeks annual budget
The Trails Committee currently maintains approximately 40 miles of trails in Carlisle. All of these trails require boardwalks, markers, signs, kiosks, and regular maintenance. "In past years," explained Louise Hara of Concord Street, "we have been an all-volunteer board supplementing all needed supplies out of sales of our trails map book and out of our pockets."
Hara and Chair Marc Lamere appeared before the Board of Selectmen at their December 15 meeting to plead their case. The Trails Committee would like to continue their service to the town, but find themselves worrying more about funding than their main mission of building, clipping and educating. "We ask for your help in establishing a minimal yearly budget of $3,000." said Hara. The committee would use the funds primarily to buy materials that are needed to make the signs and boardwalks. Volunteer labor would still be used in all building projects — in November alone, volunteers donated more than 650 hours to complete two large boardwalk projects on the River Trail. Hara added that state funding is limited and she has spent weeks writing grant proposals that have not come to fruition.
"I'm very supportive of this activity," responded Board Chair Tim Hult, who admitted being an avid trail walker. Selectman John Ballantine was also sympathetic to their cause, but wished to see a more long-term approach in the form of a five-year plan. Board members agreed to send the request to FinCom to see how it might best be handled.
© 2005 The