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Mendon Residents to Vote on $15.3 Million Budget

During Mendon's May 2 Annual Town Meeting, residents will be presented a new $15.3 million budget; an approximate $498,000 increase from the current fiscal year budget. As of April 10, the Finance Committee had not yet held its Public Hearing on the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, so figures reported below may change when the final budget is released.

According to Finance Committee Chair Rich Schofield, the town continues to dig itself out of its financial predicament but is making some progress. Of the 2015 budget process, Schofield says, "The Committee tried to add some things back into the budget to improve the situation." However, he said not all "wants" were feasible. "People requested increases. No one got a full increase but at least they got something," he said. "The Highway Department asked for an additional laborer and got that but we were unable to increase the road materials funding they asked for."

The current draft budget states there is a total of $48,443 intended for raises for town employees, with the exception of the Police Department, who agreed to a three year wage freeze in exchange for continued funding to the Quinn Bill. How the $48,443 will be distributed is still in negotiations.

Another salary increase to the FY 2015 budget will be the impending Town Administrator's salary. However, because contract negotiations are still underway, an exact salary has not been released. Previously, the salary had been estimated at around $110,000 per year. On February 6, the Board of Selectmen offered Lyndon, Kansas City Administrator Kimberly Newman the position.

Based on the current Fiscal Year 2014 budgets, several departments will see increases to their new budgets. The Police Department's proposed FY15 budget shows a $101,190 increase for a total of $1,274,876. Some of those additional monies will go toward general expenses and cruiser replacement. Other departments show marginal increases including the Highway Construction and Maintenance's $21,292 increase to it $427,516 new budget and the Board of Health is looking at a $14,675 increase in its $416,250 FY15 budget, most of which will go toward trash disposal and collection.

The school budgets also reflect increases. According to the draft budget, an additional $203,502 is being added to the Mendon Upton Regional School District, increasing the District's budget from $7,747,727 to $7,951,227. Blackstone Valley Tech's proposed FY15 budget is looking at an $86,208 increase. In total, BVT's contribution from Mendon will total $762,046 for the new fiscal year versus last year's amount of $675,838.

The town is also looking at several miscellaneous expense increases, including health insurance, which went up more than $65,000 from $564,052 to $631,000 for Fiscal 2015. The Worcester County Retirement Expense will also increase approximately $20,000 from $333,555 to $353,708.

On the revenue side, tax revenues at the 2½ levy limit for the Fiscal Year 2015 budget are proposed at $11,455,882; up from last year's figure of $10,612,888. Local receipts are projected to increase slightly from last year's figure of $2,010,289 to $2,073,689 and state aid is projected to increase from $411,091 to $425,491.

Mendon's Annual Town Meeting will take place on Friday, May 2 at Miscoe Hill School and begin at 7 p.m.




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