Friday, February 17, 2006
FinCom FY07 guideline budget keeps level service; New initiatives exceed guideline by $683,000
The Board of Selectmen hosted a joint budget review with the Finance Committee (FinCom) and Long-Term Capital Requirements Committee (LTCRC) at its February 14 meeting. This was the first opportunity to get a glimpse of all the FY07 numbers. There is still plenty of work to be done, but the Selectmen appeared to love what they heard during the Valentine's Day review.
FinCom chair Thornton Ash informed the Selectmen that the town expects to receive a total of $20,350,006 in revenue for FY07. This determined their $20,347,959 guideline level-service budget that was broken down into $18,609,022 for town departments, $123,031 for state, county and other expenses, $1,421,879 in debt service, $157,027 for long term capital and $37,000 for separate articles.
The FinCom received level-service requests from the town departments of $19,077,433. This includes an increase in the Reserve Fund balance of $50,000 for legal expenses and results in a total imbalance of $468,000. This is not considered unusual at this stage of the process, since the town has $943,000 in Free Cash and the FinCom plans to hold another round of negotiations. The total FY07 growth budget wish list comes in at $19,291,934 for an overage of $683,000.
Don Rober of the LTCRC has his work cut out for him. The committee's $157,027 guideline is dwarfed by requests for almost $2 million in capital requests. Notable among these are $369,000 in Concord-Carlisle High School repairs and maintenance, $176,000 for the Carlisle Public Schools for boiler replacement and other maintenance/upgrades, $140,000 in fire cisterns, $111,000 for DPW dump trucks and shed roof repair, and $1million for Banta Davis recreation fields. Rober sees the flood of high school repair expenses as a response to the postponing of their rebuilding plans. "If there aren't going to be any new buildings, then they must repair the old," he said.
Selectmen chair Doug Stevenson thanked the two committees for their hard work and expressed satisfaction with the budget process up to now, which gives hope that the town can remain within the levy limit and avoid any overrides.
© 2006 The