Thursday, April 6, 2017
Some Thoughts on the FY 18 Budget
Some Thoughts on the FY 18 Budget Meeting 4/5/17
The superintendent of schools, Mr. Casavant attended this meeting (as did the chairman of the school committee, Diane Haley Brooks and the business manager) and presented the Advisory Committee with the budget package for the Narragansett Regional School District. Many questions were answered. More information will be coming. Having the superintendent & company available to answer questions is appreciated!
The transfer to the vehicle maintenance account from the emergency reserve account in the amount of $10,000 was approved by a majority of the Advisory Committee. Highway vehicles parked include H9, H12, H7 as well as a police vehicle C10. This transfer will enable H12 and H7 to be repaired and put back on the road. Many members of the Adv. Committee felt this transfer could have been avoided if the vehicle maintenance account had not been raided to repair the pump for the fire truck. Many members felt that this was mismanagement of funds and not an emergency, even though the vote passed.
The town administrator was in attendance to discuss the FY 18 budget. There is a major discrepancy between The TA/Selectmen revenue projections and the Advisory Committee revenue projections. This is a problem.
Another problem is the budget "package" as a whole. There are a number of assumptions built into the budget document that will need to be explained to the voters. It is not clear at this time if the TA/Selectmen expect a straight up or down vote on the budget, or if there will be debate on certain aspects of this budget that could prove to be its undoing.
Areas of concern:
Ambulance receipts reserved : $325,000 transfer to the general fund.
Hiring 2 FT firefighters/EMTs
Combining Library, COA, Veterans, and recreation into 1 department
On a personal note, I, Julie Farrell, do not plan to endorse this budget as presented, IF the selectmen will not allow discussion on the budget and line items at town meeting.
On a different topic, the audits and management letters will be released on April 25th at the Kiva.