Friday, October 22, 2010
Town departments may see small increase in FY12
The Finance Committee (FinCom) issued a letter last week asking each town department to prepare a FY12 budget assuming a 0% increase and another assuming a 2% increase. In a phone conversation Tuesday, Chair David Guarino said the FinCom wants to examine all possibilities, but a 2% increase across the board “looks doable without an override.” This would be the first increase most departments have seen in three years.
“Cost control at the high school is good news for other departments,” Guarino added. He noted that a recent meeting with the Regional School Committee, at which a 3% increase for the high school was requested, “was pretty dry, and that’s good news.” He also anticipates there will be no large increase requested for the Carlisle School. However, while the operating budgets will be “pretty straightforward,” Guarino expects the high school building project, now in its feasibility planning stage, to require considerable time and oversight.
The FinCom will begin hearings on the departmental budgets November 1. The letter notes that this will include “a review of your actual Fiscal Year 2010 expenses, your anticipated Fiscal Year 2011 expenses, and your preliminary Fiscal Year 2012 requirements.” Hearings will be held every other Monday with the goal of presenting a guideline budget to each department starting in early January. The public is invited to all hearings.
State law limits tax increases to 2½% per year unless an override vote is taken at Annual Town Meeting. The FinCom must prepare a budget that assumes no override and present that to the Board of Selectmen. It is then the Selectmen’s decision whether or not an override warrant should appear at Town Meeting. ∆
© 2010 The