“We realized many increases beyond our control, whether it is retirement contributions … or health insurance increases,” Landry said. “With those increases and with the tax cap there is not a lot of room for growth. There is not a lot of room for expanding programs.”
There is a slight increase in the senior programming budget that mostly covers switching one of two part-time employees to full time. That line increased from $79,000 to $115,000. The rest of the department’s budget remained flat and totaled $166,250.
Councilwoman Julie McDonnell said she was pleased the town is continuing its commitment to senior, youth and community services. McDonnell was concerned with how such services would be impacted in future budgets.
“I remained concerned about our future budgets and how we will continue to provide these services within a climate of rising costs and mandates, and property tax caps imposed by the state which simply do not reflect these realities,” McDonnell said. “I hope the state will rethink these policies and let our local taxpayers and elected officials make these decisions for our town in the future.”
General fund appropriations increased almost $41,000 from the tentative to preliminary budget. This was offset by revenue adjustments in the same amount; the building alteration permits accounted for the majority at a $35,000 increase to $175,000.
Resident Leslie Gold was pleased with the budget.
“I think the budget is as good as it can be,” Gold said. “I doubt the tax cap is sustainable and I think when the time comes if you need to override it, you should do that.”