BOS news: forecasting 2.7% tax increase, expecting to approve contract with new chief on Tuesday

I missed Tuesday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, but The Metrowest Daily News covered the highlights.

Selectmen reviewed the FY15 budget with Finance Director Brian Ballantine. Ballantine projected taxes will rise by approximately 2.7%:

“This isn’t set in stone yet,” [Ballantine] said, but shouldn’t be too far off.

The tax bill on the average valued single-family home of $536,200 would be $8,909, he said, a $233 increase from fiscal 2014.

Selectmen are set to hear a more detailed budget presentation from Town Administrator Mark Purple on Feb. 25.

“Last year was a maintenance budget,” Purple said Tuesday. “This year there is a little bit of creativity,” he said, including possibly adding staff “in a couple of places.”

Purple said the projected increase is “incredible reasonable,” especially given Gov. Deval Patrick’s budget, which Purple strongly denounced as being unfavorable toward cities and towns.

The board also discussed the status of contract negotiations with incoming police chief, Captain Kenneth Paulhus:

“We had excellent discussions with (Paulhus),” Selectmen Chairman Daniel Kolenda said after the two sides emerged from a nearly two-hour private negotiation. “We expect to finalize a contract very shortly.”

Kolenda said he couldn’t disclose any information about the contract, including salary, until it was signed. He said negotiations went well and that there was “give and take on both sides.”

I got an update from the Town Administrator’s office this morning. They expect the contract to be signed in time for selectmen to approve at their meeting on Tuesday, February 11.

For the full MWDN story, click here.

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