GRAFTON, Mass. - Grafton Town Administrator Timothy McInerney presented his $46.6 million fiscal year 2014 budget Tuesday night, a spending plan representing an increase of 3.16 percent over the current year.
The $46,665,068 budget includes an increase of $11,074 in municipal salaries, increases in health insurance costs and a $1.9 million increase in the school budget, which is primarily offset by a significant increase in Chapter 70 education funding.
"We realize tax dollars are sacred, hard to come by, and we want to be frugal with them every step of the way," McInerney told the Grafton Board of Selectmen.
Revenues in FY2014 are expected to stay relatively flat, McInerney said. The town is expected to receive $32,550,796 in property tax, $3,561,512 in local receipts and $12,030,590 in state aid.
The state aid figure is based on Gov. Deval Patrick's proposed budget, which is subject to changes by the state legislature in the coming months, he added.
"We've used the governor's numbers with every budget I've done so far, and we adjust as the numbers change," McInerney said.
Budget requests by town departments were cut by $308,352, McInerney said. The only segment of the budget to receive a decrease was health and human services, represented by a $10,000 cut to the Council on Aging budget because of a decrease in personnel costs brought about by staffing changes. Veterans Services were also reduced because the town now shares its agent with surrounding towns.
Debt service also falls by 16.86 percent to $4 million because of the retirement of the 2009 Sewer Department Septic Betterment bond and the 2002 borrowing for the Millbury Street Elementary School.
Capital improvement spending includes:
- A $36,000 replacement sewer department truck;
- A $48,000 roof repair at Grafton Middle School;
- A $42,263 Council on Aging van, the cost of which may be offset by fundraising;
- Two $201,000 5-ton Highway Department trucks;
- A $40,000 street sweeper lease;
- A $64,500 fire truck lease.