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Mendon FY13 Budget Level Service Funded

The Mendon Finance Committee presented town officials a preliminary balanced Fiscal Year 2013 budget in record time."Having started two months early has really calmed the process down and provided the ability to manage the process much more effectively and, more importantly, rationally," said Finance Committee Chair Rich Schofield.

Although balanced, Schofield says the budget can continue to change right up to the moment residents vote on Article 4 during the Annual Town Meeting. However, based on the budget figures received, as of April 6, the Finance Committee will present an estimated $14 million budget that is level service funded. With the exception of Blackstone Valley Vocational School, which is requesting a 26.14 percent increase, most other department budgets either remain the same as last year, continue to cut costs, or have minimal increases.

For Fiscal Year 2013, the Regional School District is requesting a 1.66 percent increase or $125,896, totaling $7,732,670 from last year's $7,606,774. A portion of the Regional Schools increase is the result of a debt exclusion to repair Miscoe Hill's boiler, roof, and windows, as well as rising transportation costs and operational costs. Blackstone Valley Vocational School's budget shows a 26 percent increase requesting an additional $121,304. The reason for the large increase is twofold according to Schofield. "Mendon added ten more students (to BVT) and an adjustment of the school funding formula where the state has judged that our ability to pay has gone up while that of some of the other 13 towns has gone down."

Last year, town departments were forced to cut more than 11 percent of their budgets due a failed Proposition 2 ½ municipal override of approximately $409,000. The FY 13 budget will again reflect some of those eliminations, including the Town Coordinator's salary and a Clerk in the Police Department. However, several line items eliminated will now be restored to the Fiscal Year 2013 budget including the third shift ambulance and the Town Beach.

For FY13, the proposed Public Works Department budget remains unchanged at $713,635 with a zero percent increase. The Taft Library's budget also remains the same with a zero percent increase from last year and is again requesting $153,703.

The General Government budget is proposing a decrease of $30,496. Under the umbrella of General Government, the Board of Selectmen's budget will lose $6,537. In addition, Town Hall Services will decrease computer equipment funding but will increase funding utilities.

The Police Department's overall budget for the upcoming fiscal year is projected to be $1,126,764, a 3.5 percent decrease totaling $40,831 from last year's $1,167,595. Some cuts include $36,000 toward a cruiser replacement and $1,000 in general expenses. The Fire Department will see a .21 percent overall decrease in its budget with cuts in call salaries and general expenses. The FY 13 proposed budget for the Fire Department is $630,700 versus the FY 12 budget of $631,997.

Estimated revenue will see both increases and decreases. The proposed tax revenues at the levy limit are estimated to bring in $10,521,350 in FY 13 versus FY 12's at $10,196,439. Local receipts are also estimated to increase somewhat from $1,784,000 in FY 12 to $1,894,033. Still, state aid will see a decrease of nearly $35,000 from $386,653 to $351,876 in FY 13.

The new budget will be voted on during the May 4 Annual Town Meeting to begin at 7 p.m. at Miscoe Hill School.


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