EDC also to present budget at tonight’s BOS Meeting (Updated – again)

by beth on January 10, 2019

Just a quick update on yesterday’s story about tonight’s Board of Selectmen meeting. This morning, the Town posted an updated agenda adding a presentation by the Economic Development Committee.

The item falls under the heading of FY20 Budget Recommendation. The EDC’s presentation isn’t specifically defined. It follows the Admin/Finance team’s presentation. It is listed along with other departments that are dissatisfied with the team’s recommendation.

The Admin/Finance team’s budget shows that the EDC had initially requested an increase of $10,959 for its the FY20 budget. The administration’s presentation shows that was reduced by $10,764 from that to make it a $195 increase (or 0.51%).* But this wasn’t included in the presentation as one of the cuts in dispute. So, I can’t be certain the committee plans to make a case for additional funds. 

Regardless of whether the committee is just explaining it’s budget or asking for more – there’s a topic likely to come up that I owe readers an update on.

Most of the EDC’s budget is for the salary of its Economic Development Coordinator. So, I should note that there has been recent talk about a potential staffing model change. Selectmen have discussed the potential for sharing an ED Coordinator with the Town of Millis. 

The EDC has been struggling to find a replacement for the Coordinator position. (The work is currently being done by an interim coordinator by contracts – former EDC member Claire Reynolds.) 

Recently, Town officials were considering hiring someone as a Southborough employee and contracting an arrangement for Millis to share the costs and hours. In December, selectmen learned that it would be better for Millis to hold the job. Southborough Town Meeting voters have to approve all new positions, job classification changes, etc. Millis apparently has more flexibility to hire without going through Town Meetings.

Last month, it sounded like officials from both Towns were still just in an exploratory stage. Last week, Town Administrator Mark Purple updated selectmen, that they were continuing to look at all their options for filling the position as requested.

Updated (1/10/19 1:51 pm): I have to add another update. This time it’s to correct my error in sloppy reporting. Yesterday, I wrote that Planning posted an agenda saying it would be there. I don’t know what I misread or misrecalled – but that isn’t the case. Planning’s next meeting is 1/28/19. There is no agenda for them to be at tonight’s meeting. (Though, one member may attend without posting an agenda.)

*Updated (1/15/19 10:05 am): Initially, the wording indicated that the EDC budget was cut by the Admin/Finance team. According to EDC’s interim Coordinator Claire Reynolds, that cut was suggested by the EDC. Following the meeting, she emailed me:

when the EDC saw preliminary Finance team budget and realizing that 2020 was such a difficult year, a revised budget was sent to the Finance Director on Dec 6th. The revised budget has a Y/Y increase of .5% for a total of $195.

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