Watertown's budget will grow significantly next year thanks to the new housing built in town, allowing for a larger increase for the Watertown Public Schools.
Town Manager Michael Driscoll told the Town Council that the Fiscal 2015 budget will be $5 million higher than the current fiscal year. The $112.8 million is a 4.7 percent increase over Fiscal 2014.
Driscoll said he plans to increase the municipal departments will get a 2.5 percent increase, while the Watertown Public Schools will get a 3 percent bump.
Much of the increase is due to an increase in the new growth - particularly housing projects along Pleasant Street, Driscoll said. The town received $2.6 million in new growth, but that amount is tempered by the loss of payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) from Harvard University. The town will lose $1.3 million in payments after Harvard sold the Arsenal on the Charles complex to athenahealth. The town, however, will be able to tax those buildings now, Driscoll said.
While the proposed budget is for $112.8 million, Driscoll said there is a $1.2 million shortfall that must be made up.
"Either revenues must go up or expenditures must go down," Driscoll said.