Mayor Stephanie M. Burke has submitted her proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2017. The budget is focused on providing key city services and an investment in our schools to assist in maintaining and augmenting all our current school ratings. Both Medford High School and Medford Vocation-Technical School are deemed level 1 schools.
The proposed FY17 budget totals $162,108,545, a 4.3% increase from last year and includes a 2.6% increase in public school spending. Of the $6.7 million increase overall, just about $2.5 million is from increases in fixed costs such as Health Insurance of $1.35 million, Pension costs of $444 thousand, Trash/Recycle of $449 thousand and Debt of $214 thousand. An additional $500 thousand is attributed to MWRA assessments for Water and Sewer. If these fixed costs are excluded, the increase would be 2.2% overall.
Key components of the FY17 budget include:
- Augmenting the Office of Community Development with the additional two full time employees; a planner and Economic Development Specialist. This will assist in citywide planning activities as well as augmenting the ability of the City to apply for grants.
- Adding a support position (.50 FTE) for Information Technology to assisting in moving the City to Office 365.
- Filling all current positions in the Department of Public Works including augmenting the tree warden from part time to full time.
- Maintaining current police staffing levels with the addition of funding to begin the process of transferring over to civilian dispatch officers. This, in effect, will augment the police services with 10 additional officers that served in dispatch.
- Increasing current fire staffing levels by one firefighter. Increase in Personnel cost are reflective of settlement of collective bargaining agreement in 2016 for contract that expired on June 20, 2013. The impact from three fiscal years of wage increases are seen in FY17 Budget.
- Appointing a part-time custodian to the Chevalier Commission budget.
- Commitment to funding requirements by the State for Library funding.
- Restructure of the Building Department to incorporate Weights and Measure responsibilities.
- Increase in school budget of $1.4 million
The City’s budget is supported by the following revenue sources: Real and Personal Property Taxes of $104 million, Local Receipts of $16 million, which include Hotel, meals tax and cable fees, Enterprise Revenue from Water & Sewer of $24 million, School Building Assistance Reimbursement of $3.2 million and estimated Net Local Aid from the State, based on House Budget 1, of $15.6 million. Local Aid is estimated to be $300 thousand greater than last year.
“In FY17 we will continue to strive to exceed the service level expectations of our constituents,” said Mayor Burke. “The mission of City government is to provide open, honest, and pro-active services effectively and efficiently, focusing on the needs of today and planning for tomorrow. We will continue to streamline the See-Click-Fix program that went live in March of 2016 to better communicate with the public. We will also be implementing the “Complete Streets” Policy in Fiscal 2017 that we are extremely excited about.”
“Balancing the City’s budget is no easy task and I appreciate the hard work our Department heads and School Department Administration have put into the preparation of this year’s budget,” said Mayor Burke.