By Sue Ellen Woodcock
The Town Council, on the advice of the town’s finance committee, has unanimously approved the Town Manager’s budget for Fiscal Year 2017, which begins July 1.
Town Council approved a final figure of $46,669,447 for the town budget.
Miriam Regan-Fiore, a member of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee on Finance, (who was filling in for Chairman Robert Wynne Jr.) reported the town manager’s budget for FY17 is balanced and does have a few changes.
The number of students going to the Essex Technical High School has decreased from three to two students saving $18,000. This money will be transferred to the Inspectional Services department to add another half-time clerk. The budget includes $192,000 for new regional dispatch center, which will serve Winthrop but be in Revere.
The budget allows a reorganization of the police department with the hiring of a new deputy chief. There will also be a firefighter added to the fire department. In addition, the library has been funded at a level that will allow it to meet state standards.
Fiore added that the Winthrop Ferry budget will receive $100,000 and that there should be a quarterly review of the ferry services and operations. The total ferry budget for FY17 will be $392,350. She also noted that the water and sewer rates have been combined and the committee concurs with the town’s administration that it is proper to shift school employee benefits out of the town budget and into the school department’s budget. The committee also will closely monitor the utility costs at the new school. Fiore was also pleased to announce that the town has $3 million in the town’s stabilization fund.