Monday, May 13, 2013
The hearings start this week. See the whole schedule here.
It's budget time, and the Town Council will start discuss the budget for all of Watertown's municipal and school departments starting May 14 and wrapping up in early June. Several budget hearings have been scheduled for the Council to go over Town Manager Michael Driscoll’s proposed Fiscal Year 2014 Budget. All hearings will be held in the Richard E. Mastrangelo Council Chamber in Town Hall. Click here to see the Town Manager's budget message. The schedule is as follows: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - Approximately 8 p.m. (hearing follows the Town Council meeting) Saturday, May 18, 2013 – 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 21, 2013 – 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, 2013 – Approximately 8 p.m. (hearing follows the Town Council meeting) Tuesday, June 4, 2013 – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Watertown's Capital Improvement Plan includes $11.7 million in projects that are yet unfunded, which do you like?
When Town Manager Michael Driscoll revealed his 2014-18 Capital Improvement Plan in included $128.9 million in projects and major purchases over the next five years, and $16.3 million next fiscal year, but some has no funding, right now. The largest chunk of the capital plan will go toward street and sidewalk improvement, Driscoll said, with $93.8 million set aside for that from fiscal 2014 to 2018. See the entire Capital Improvement Plan by clicking here. In Fiscal 2014, which begins on July 1, 2013, includes funding for several projects and vehicles with tax revenue including: Other funding would come from borrowing, including: Some projects do not have any funds designated to pay for them, including: Which projects do you like? Where …
Friday, December 7, 2012
Gov. Patrick's plan to make up a $540 million shortfall calls for cuts to local aid and special education funds.
Gov. Deval Patrick’s announcement, this week, that Massachusetts communities will lose state funding for local aid and special education was not greeted as good news by Watertown officials but the cuts should not have a major impact. The one percent in unrestricted local aid will cost Watertown about $56,000, and the town’s schools will lose about $85,000 from the special education circuit breaker fund, according to information State Sen. Will Brownsberger, D-Belmont, provided to town officials. The cuts are part of Gov. Patrick’s plan to close a $540 million shortfall in Fiscal 2013 - the current year’s budget. The hole is due to lower than expected tax revenue as a result of the current economic slump. Brownsberger wrote that the …
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Revenues should be up, Town Manager Michael Driscoll said, but expenses will be growing faster.
With the cost of pensions, insurance rising and state funds dropping, Town Manager Michael Driscoll said the town faces a deficit of nearly $750,000 in his preliminary Fiscal 2014 budget. Revenues, totalling $106.15 million, will actually grow about $3.6 million from the current fiscal year, 2013, but the expenses will grow faster - by $4.3 million - to $106.88 million, Driscoll told the Town Council Tuesday night. Local taxes are expected to grow $3.2 million, or 4.1 percent, to $80.5 million, Driscoll said. State Aid, however, will drop by $367,850 - a 3.7 percent decrease - to $9.7 million. The cost of pensions will rise about $1.2 million, up to $10.7 million. This includes $1.25 million put aside to pay off a debt in the pension. …
Friday, June 15, 2012
The fire and police budgets were approved, but the chiefs of both departements say they need more personnel on duty.
Watertown Fire Chief Mario Orangio remains concerned about short staffing in his department due to the Fiscal 2013, which the Town Council approved Tuesday. He worries could lead to a tragedy. Watertown often has 16 firefighters on duty, but Orangio told the council last week that he believes there should be at least 19 firefighters on duty at all times. Sometimes the department is left with as few as 14 firefighters if the town's ambulance is taking a patient to the hospital. Orangio said he needs a minimum of 16 firefighters to safely put out a house fire. “What will happen is there will be a tragedy, like they had in Charlestown, like in Randolph, like in Haverhill, and they will increase staffing then,” Orangio said Tuesday after the …
Friday, June 1, 2012
School construction projects could also add more space for growing enrollment in the school district.
With elementary schools running short on space and schools as much as 90 years old, Town Councilors said they want to start talks soon with Watertown school officials about making major renovations to the town's schools. Watertown's enrollment is expected to increase by 84 students next year, and most are coming into the elementary schools, said School Committee Vice Chairman John Portz. "It may get higher, and the area where we could see an increase is in kindergarten," Portz said. "People are moving into to town and enrolling into school." Superintendent Jean Fitzgerald said new programs in the district, such as those for special education programs, take up space in the schools. School officials have made efforts to use space more …
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
The budget will be more than 2 percent higher than the current year, and includes a 3.5 percent boost for the schools.
Watertown’s budget looks much better than the first glance in November, said Town Manager Michael Driscoll when he presented the Fiscal 2013 budget, Tuesday night. The total Fiscal 2013 budget will be $102.3 million, up $2.11 million from the previous year, a 2.11 percent increase. The town will receive $522,339 more than Fiscal 2012, Driscoll said, which is far rosier than the $1.3 million cut he was preparing for in November. “That’s the good news,” Driscoll said. “The disappointing news is that local aid is $2.8 million less than Fiscal 2009.” The budget includes enough funds to maintain the same level of staffing for the Police and Fire departments. The police will maintain 65 uniformed officers, including 47 on patrol, along with 9 …
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Town Manager Michael Driscoll presented his forecast of the town's revenues and expenditures for next year's budget.
The town faces a shortfall of $1.3 million in the preliminary Fiscal 2013 budget presented by Town Manager Michael Driscoll at Wednesday's Town Council meeting, but in April, he had forecast an even bleaker picture, with a $2.4 million deficit. The town's revenues will grow by $1.6 million over Fiscal 2012 to , the current budget year, but Driscoll said the increase will not keep pace with the growing town expenses. The growth brings the town's revenues to $101.8 million, but the expenditures are forecast to rise $2.95 million to $103.15 million, Driscoll said. At this time last year, the shortfall was even larger, at $3.4 million, Driscoll said. While making the budget, Driscoll said he looked to provide the best services and balance the …
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
The resolution stet up a time line for next year's budget making process.
Town Councilors will consider a resolution on the fiscal 2013 budget process - next year's budget - during their regular meeting tonight at 7:15 p.m. in Town Hall. The resolution sets up a time line for the budget process, which includes: The dates are essentially the same ones used by the Council for the fiscal 2012 budget, which was adopted in June.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
State Rep. Hecht told the Town Council that the Special Education Circuit Breaker will be increased by as much as $500,000, and the town will get more money for roadwork.
The approval of the state budget did not come until after the start of the new budget year, but for Watertown officials the wait was worth it - worth more than $700,000, in fact. The fiscal 2012 budget signed by Gov. Deval Patrick on Monday includes an increase of Special Education Circuit Breaker funds – which could be as high as $500,000 – and $156,000 added to the Chapter 90 roads funds, State Rep. Jonathan Hecht told the Town Council Tuesday. “The Special Education Circuit Breaker is a concern for all communities, particularly Watertown because of the large special education population,” Hecht said. The House proposal was to increase the circuit breaker funds by more than $80 million, while the Senate proposal called for a $61 million …