Tough choices in town budget as expenses rise, revenue declines

Published on Thursday, 12/18/2008 2:12 pm | by Selectmen's Office | Automatically Archived on 12/25/2008

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Town Manager Maureen Valente was trying to find ways to trim $98,000 from a non-override draft budget last week after presenting a trio of fiscal year 2010 budget scenarios to the Board of Selectmen.

Valente, who presented the draft budgets to the selectmen on Dec. 9, was struggling with what expenses could be trimmed by last Friday, the date the town and school budgets were due to the town treasurer.

The non-override budget of $18.2 million will mean cuts in services and personnel, said Valente, whose requested budget of $18.9 million, a seven percent increase over FY09, would “protect public safety, public assets, public health and quality of life.” A third budget, reflecting the Finance Committee recommendation for a budget capped annually at 4.5 percent over the previous fiscal year, is $18.5 million.

“The FY09 budget is lower than FY08 by over $100,000, and nearly $500,000 lower than needed to provide even close to level services,” said Valente. “We have less dollars we

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