And so the budget season begins …

With our annual town meeting a mere three months away, now is the time when town budgets take center stage.

The K-8 School Committee is expected to get its first look at the school budget for fiscal year 2012 on Wednesday night (assuming their meeting isn’t delayed by snow), and tonight the Board of Selectmen will review its first set of budgets.

Under the microscope tonight will be some of the town’s biggest budgets: public works, public buildings and grounds, police, and fire. The Advisory Committee will attend the meeting along with the selectmen.

Each town department has been asked to submit a level services budget, which means a budget that has the same level of services as those in the current fiscal year. While nothing new will be added to the budget, a level-services budget may still show an increase over the current year due to an increase in the cost of the services.

Still largely in flux is how much revenue we will have to spend in fiscal year 2012. In a recent interview with the Metrowest Daily News, Town Administrator Jean Kitchen said the town is still waiting to see how much local aid it will receive.

Residents will also have to decide what to do with a bundle of cash the town had been holding in reserve pending the outcome of telecommunications lawsuits. The lawsuits were settled earlier this year, and that freed up more than $1.3M in cash that had been collected from taxpayers and held in a reserve fund.

Tonight’s joint Board of Selectmen/Advisory Committee meeting starts at 7:00 pm at the Town House Hearing Room (second floor). The School Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 6:30 at the Trottier Middle School Library. Both are open to the public.

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John Butler
12 years ago

The Advisory Committee posts all of the Town’s draft budget files, while under development, and all of its email between members, and between members and town employees, on its web site, which can be found at

There really isn’t much up yet for this year, however, as the budget review season is just beginning.

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