The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 13, 2009

State aid $133,000 more than expected for FY10

With all the departmental over-guideline requests now in, Town Finance Director Larry Barton reported at the February 9 Finance Committee (FinCom) meeting that the governor’s proposed budget for FY10 would send about $133,000 more state funding to Carlisle than anticipated. The FinCom had prepared the budget with an expectation of a 15% decrease in state aid. The $133,000 addition to the levy limit budget will just about cover the highest priority requests from town departments with a few thousand left over, but would not also cover the over-budget requests by the Carlisle and Concord-Carlisle schools.

Town requests that could now be within the levy limit budget include $28,000 in salaries for the police and communications departments, $18,000 for the DPW tree and road maintenance, and $5,000 for the Fire Department. It was noted the Police Department has worked hard to reduce its request by $20,000. Other requests include $10,000 for the library, $7,500 for the Council on Aging (COA), $14,000 for the Conservation Commission, $3,000 for the Planning Board and $5,500 for various Town Hall departments. The Minuteman Regional School District has requested $32,000 and Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie noted this should be included under the levy limit as it is outside the town’s control. The COA will have a warrant article for $7,000 for a social worker that, if approved, could also be included under the levy limit. (See “FinCom revisits budget requests," page 9.)

FinCom Chair Dave Model noted the Concord-Carlisle Regional School District is now requesting an additional $85,837 for the high school. The high school has already been given a 4% increase in the guideline budget while all other departments were told to remain flat, allowing Carlisle’s guidelines to match the Concord FinCom guideline for the school. It is unknown how Concord will handle the new request.

The Carlisle School is asking for $140,000 “over-guideline” for a psychologist and ELL literacy specialist. It is possible both schools’ requests could be put on a levy limit override, or the schools could be asked to reduce their requests. FinCom member Thornton Ash said that with the superintendency union a potential cost saver, “I’m not sure we need to have an override discussion yet.” The Warrant for Town Meeting closes March 2, by which time a decision should be made.

Barton also reported that Free Cash was certified this year at about $994,000. The FinCom has already requested the Selectmen approve a Warrant Article to transfer $75,000 of this to the Stabilization Fund, to save for the high school assessment change in FY11. Transferring another $15,800 to cover an over-guideline request from the Long-Term Capital Requirements Committee was proposed. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito