After several attempts to amend the Town Manager’s budget request the Town Council finally approved the FY20 budget figure (including enterprise funds, revolving funds and a one-time transfer for capital) is $64,866,135.
The general fund budget of $52,546,470 is a roughly 3 percent increase over FY19 budget of $50,835,254.
The school department will receive $21,275,036 a roughly 4 percent increase over the FY19 school budget of $20,141,310.
Before the vote Tuesday night the council heard from Bob Wynne Jr., chairman of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee on Finance.
“This is the first time for the Finance Committee to work with the new town management. The budget was completed much earlier than in the past,” he said. “We also met with many more department heas than in the past.”
He added that the budget was based on the House of Representatives state budget which would give the town an additional $178,476 in state aid. Of that amount the school department received $113,726.
Of all the expenses the town faces one of the largest is the payment for regional dispatch. In the beginning four communities were supposed to be in it but only Revere and Winthrop are in the service and pay a hefty price. In fiscal year 2017 when the regional dispatch began the cost to Winthrop was $192,600. Now in fiscal year 2020 the town has a fee of $450,000.
“Regional dispatch is a good idea and both chiefs favor it. Grants have helped offset some of the cost but we are concerned about annual growth,” Wynne said.
He also noted that this year is the first the ferry is not requesting any money from the town, it has found other funding sources, but he has concerns about its future and whether or not the town should be running a ferry business.