To: Ways and Means Subcommittee
CC: Greenfield City Council
From: William Martin, Mayor
Date: May 15, 2019
Re: FY2020 Budget Final Thoughts and School Budget Suggestions
As you approach deliberation on the FY 2020 city budget, I want to provide you with updated information. As you know, we have created this budget during the first quarter of the year, after the Governor’s budget and before the House and Senate versions. Now, with only one more step in the process, a House-Senate Conference Committee compromise budget, we know of highly probable changes for Greenfield. I offer some suggestions for your discussions.
First, Chapter 70 has increased $257,517, and in the Town Operating Budget Contributory Retirement is reduced by $32,000 and Health Insurance by $56,000. So a total of $345,517 may be appropriated for the school department. The school department’s current budgeted amount of $18,625,000 would be increased to $18,970,517.
Second, a reduction in the Stipend for Councilor training, travel, mileage, registration fees and travel expenses from $500 per Councilor to $250 per Councilor would provide $3,250 that may be shifted to the school department. Article VII, Stipend for School Board Members and City Councilors of the City Code may require a modification for this temporary reduction. The $3,250 added to the school department will now equal $18,973,767.
The options at this point include reducing city department budgets at a risk of service & program loss and lay-offs or request the school committee and superintendent use $400,000 of existing revolving funds from their various accounts (for FY2020 the school committee reduced their contribution by $800,000 that they committed last year) such as Choice $100,000; Sped Tuition $200,000; Preschool Tutor $50,000; and Sped Idea $150,000. Also, verify actual FY19 & FY18 costs paid to Out of District Costs (OOD) from OOD Tuition, Circuit Breaker and prepayments to verify the $2.9 M projected for FY 2020 is a value that represents a historical trend. The number of students has decreased and reductions are expected. However, there may need to be a review of the actual per student cost.
With $400,000 of revolving funds added the school budget is now at $19,373,767.
Providing additional funding to the school budget beyond the Mayor’s submission from the excess Levy will cause an increase in the tax bill to property owners. A ? vote is required for passage and the Director of Municipal Finance has provided tax rate impacts at various amounts used of the excess Levy that totals $2.7 M.