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Mendon Decides on $17.8 Million Budget at Town Meeting Tonight, Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m. at Miscoe

Town officials will present a $17.8 million balanced budget to Mendon voters during the May 6 Annual Town Meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Miscoe Hill School. The new budget, Article 3, is just one of several financial articles on the 30 article warrant.

The new fiscal year 2017 budget, Article 4 on the warrant, is an approximate 3.2 percent increase over last year. Some of the drivers behind the increase is a $94,000 rise in health insurance and a $31,000 increase toward the Worcester County Retirement Fund.

The Regional School District's new overall budget is recommended at $9,442,246, a $152,000 increase over last year and Blackstone Valley Tech's proposed new budget totals $920,062, an approximate $106,000 increase. Other increases include an additional $29,000 for the library's expenses and a $30,242 increase to the Town Administrator's salary line item.

When it came to estimating projected revenues for the new budget, Finance Committee Chair Mike Merolli said very conservative figures were projected. Some of the proposed revenue numbers in the new fiscal year budget include tax revenues estimated at $13.7 million, a $2.2 million increase; debt exclusions totaling $1.38 million, a $22,000 increase; local receipts estimated at $2.19 million, a $12,000 increase; and $474,000 in state aid, a $23,000 increase.

Other financial articles are on the warrant include Article 5 which is seeking to fund the Assessor's Cyclical Inspection for $6,500 and Article 6 is to finance the Update Valuation Account for $10,000.

Article 9 is requesting $34,000 that will replace or retrofit water meters in town. Over the last several years, the town has experienced excessive water loss. Town officials believe, due to their age, the water meters are not registering the correct amount of water passing through them and therefore want them replaced.

Articles 10 through 13 will establish revolving funds for the Taft Library, Planning Board, Highway Department, and the Conservation Commission. Revolving funds are set up by the town in an effort to collect fees to support that board or department and must be approved by voters each year. And Article 14 will request $2,500 for a police matching grant program.

There are several nonfinancial articles on the warrant and include accepting a number of roads in the Cobbler's Knoll subdivision, a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) agreement with BlueWave Capital, a solar development company planning to construct a solar farm at 128 Providence St., 67 Bates St., and 72 Thayer Road. In association with that, a number of residents are bringing forth a citizen's petition article at the Town Meeting in an effort to change zoning regulations prohibiting solar arrays in the residential district.

The complete warrant may be found on the town's Web site under the Town Clerk's page at www.mendonma.gov.




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