, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 1, 2013

Town Meeting approves $12.8M budget

Spending plan includes hire of one police officer, 2 percent employee raise

WEST NEWBURY – Voters were in a positive mood at Town Meeting Monday, giving thumbs up to nearly every request on the annual and special warrants -- including those for which some town leaders were less than supportive.

They approved a $12,802,365 budget –-up 5 percent over this year’s spending plan. At the meeting’s end, the town’s excess tax levy capacity stood at $37,467; with $760,592 remaining in Free Cash and $834,282 in the stabilization account.

Finance Director Warren Sproul said he was “very conservative” with his budget estimates and predicts that town will be in good shape for the upcoming year.

The new spending plan fully funds the Pentucket Regional School District assessment, gives a 2 percent raise to non-union employees, and –- thanks to an amendment on Town Meeting floor by Dave Kapturowski –- provides selectmen an annual stipend of $500 each.

It also covers one additional full-time police officer – a position Chief Lisa Holmes has tried to get funded for the past 5 years. This year, Holmes level-funded police department expenses, reduced her administrative assistance position to 32 hours, and cut back on funding for reserve police officers and overtime hours in order to make room for the new position within her budget.

Following the meeting, she praised town leaders for their partnership on this effort and thanked voters for their support.

“This year, we all worked together in order to make this work,” she said.

Voters also supported two requests on a special warrant for additional funding for the Page School renovation project. A $159,404 increase in contingency funds was generally viewed as prudent planning for worse case scenarios as the $10 million project wraps up this fall. The Free Cash expense doesn’t increase the scope of the project and the funds will be returned if not used. Currently the construction contingency balance stands at $245,711.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Special Features