FInComm Recommendation: 4% Cuts Across the Board

As of 5/6/15, the Finance Committee decided to recommend 4.09% cuts across all departments. Let’s take a look at how each town department is likely to be affected from the information that each presented to FinComm over the past few weeks.

Animal Control

Cuts of 4.09% = Reduction of hours creates reduction of customers and adoptions.

Board of Assessors

Cuts of 4.09% = An item in budget can absorb the cut. This item includes a remainder of monies used for appraisals of Emerald Square Mall. It is in litigation now for FY2013 and FY2014. These decisions will help to show monies available to absorb this issue.

Board of Health

Cuts of 4.09% = $10.4K cut from level-funded budget. It impacts the part-time employees first because not protected by a bargaining agreement in town. Part-time inspector and part-time clerk’s hours would be reduced hours. The 2 part-time nurses would be cut.

Board of Selectmen

Cuts of 4.09% = Eliminate the part-time clerical position who works 24 hours a week and handles all permitting and licensing in the department. That workload will need to be placed on another person in the department. $18,433 cut to update Sr. Office Asst. to include this responsibility. 226 hours reduce to 202 hours of weekly productivity. Some services provided may be lost and vacation time doesn’t provide adequate backup.

Building Department

Cuts of 4.09% = Reduces salaries and wages. Reduces clerical staffs’ hours by 8 hours and emergency inspection services’ fund reduced from $1.5K to $578.

Conservation Commission

Cuts of 4.09% = Cut to operating budget by $4,259 through eliminating maintenance accounts for properties, dams, vehicles, and training.

Council on Aging

Cuts of 4.09%: Pam Hunt explains that the cuts will need to be absorbed by the Formula Grant.  However, this approach leaves less available funding from the grant to help off-set costs the COA has been able to use to assist with expenses: “We receive a State Formula Grant each year which over the last few years has fully funded our Program Assistant position. The total Formula Grant amount expected for FY2016 is $40,860.00. The Formula Grant will allow us to retain our current staff completely; with both part time positions remaining at 19.5 hours. $24,735.62 would be allocated for salaries. By utilizing the Formula Grant for salaries it restricts what we can do to bring more programming to the Senior Center. We fund our Chair Yoga, Line Dancing, Newsletter printing and some mailing costs with the Formula Grant. We have also improved our current Senior Center Space with new flooring, carpets, handicap ramp and in FY2015 handicap access door at the top of our ramp. Our Formula Grant also subsidizes our additional utility expense, volunteer recognition, dues, and conferences and education.”

Department of Public Works (DPW)

Cuts of 4.09% = Loss of summer help in highway department which spends times 3 hours a day weed whacking. Reduction of over-time occurs and costs $18K annually. Compost site is manned on Saturdays and Sundays. Reduction in road maintenance and maintenance of equipment would be absorbed into articles and Chapter 90 monies. Police details would be reduced too but safety is a concern with any roadwork.

Election Commission

Cuts of 4.09% = It says that they are exempt from cuts because the Town Administrator stated it would be. Line item deductions are part-time salaries for poll workers by reduction of them and part-time census worker salaries reduced too. Many minor deductions in addition are required to fully cut 4.09%.

Fire Department

Cuts of 4.09% = $198,599 cut with $110K coming from regular overtime and also remove bike, arson and dive teams. Although people may ask how often they are used, the Fire Chief said that once makes it worthwhile. We need it there. Other overtimes reduced too for paramedics and EMTs.

Human Resources Department

Cuts of 4.09% = All combined staff hours currently would be reduced by 8 hours per week. The part-time person would be cut 4 hours per week from 19 hours to 15 hours per week.

IT

Cuts of 4.09% = $21K cut to budget. Need to replace the Support Specialist with someone with less experience and reduce budget for the GIS which is used for police, fire, etc.

Park & Recreation

Cuts of 4.09% = $18,490 cut would lose 12 swim instructors, 3 desk workers, 3 maintenance positions, and 2 weekend staff members have reduced hours. Requires more volunteers to run programs; Costs increase for swim lessons and offered on less; Costs increase for family fee to use the pool.

Police Department

Cuts of 4.09% = $89,410 patrol salaries cut so it loses 2 police officers and 1 dispatcher. Part-time crossing guards are cut. Holiday account would be minimized. It is used because they can use the 11 holidays or work them and get paid.

Richards Memorial Library

Cuts of 4.09% = Keep the state’s certification as it is an equal cut across departments.

School Department

Cuts of 4.09% = $1.5M cuts to include closure of Allen Ave Elementary School; Redistricting the town and reassigning approximately 900 elementary students to new schools for September; Cutting Central Office and Administration; Cutting the current Foreign Language program at NAMS ; Cutting NAMS Accelerated and Remedial Math Programs; Cutting Middle Level HS Administration; Increase in fees for HS Athletics/Activities; Increase tuition for the Early Learning Center Preschool.

Town Accountant

Cuts of 4.09% = Dept. would be at a FY2008 level and our budget per capita would drop to $8.11 as mentioned in the FinComm Meeting Recap. Reduced hours of 2 hours per week and he gets a 0% increase in salary so Thursday nights would no longer be open which wouldn’t impact residents as his department works with town departments.

Town Clerk

Cuts of 4.09% = Bottom-line budget is $85,322, and it will lower the Town Clerk’s salary from $20,124 to $18,500. The Part-Time Clerk’s hours will reduce from 19 hours to 17 hours a week to bring the pay from $17,900 to $16,500. The Full-Time Clerk’s Assistant will remain the same. Operating budget reduced from $2,958 to $2,525 to bring $85,322 to $81,832.

Treasurer/Collector

Cuts of 4.09% = $20,228 cut to budget. Loses one part-time, non-union person.

Veterans Services

Cannot be cut as the majority of the budget (99%) covers benefits for Veterans as required by the state. Also, 75% of every $1 spent is reimbursed by the state the following year on the cherry sheet. The town will be punished and charge us 125% if the town doesn’t cover expenses for Veterans.

Zoning Board

Cuts of 4.09%: Clerk would work 31 less hours a year.