Wednesday, January 21, 2009

An update from the Select Board

.. and not much good news!

At the Longmeadow Select Board regular meeting on January 20 some additional information related to the FY09 budget crisis was provided…

  • Finance Director, Paul Pasterczyk stated that there likely will be a FY09 revenue shortfall of ~ $200K originating from lower investment income (-$107K) and lower excise tax receipts (-$90K). Both of these areas will likely impact FY10 budget revenue as well.
  • Mr. Pasterczyk updated the SB regarding snow removal costs and stated that the current expenditures were $25K over budget and likely to increase as the winter progresses.
  • Town Manager, Robin Crosbie updated the SB regarding FY09 budget actions and said that she has asked all town departments to develop budget reduction contingency plans but at this point has not requested specific “appropriation turnbacks” or expenditure reductions. In addition, purchase orders over $500.00 are being carefully scrutinized before she approves them in an effort to curtail unnecessary spending. Ms. Crosbie indicated that a large portion of current expenditures are directed at maintenance and repair items to keep the various departments operational. Bobby Barkett asked if the oversight could be extended to purchase orders > $100…. Ms. Crosbie said that she would followup with each town department.
  • Ms. Crosbie stated that the fiscal problems currently being addressed by Gov. Patrick that will be impacting Longmeadow and other towns will likely require a detailed review of prioritized town services to determine which ones will be impacted- both in the current FY09 and FY10 budgets.

    Ms. Crosbie highlighted that it is possible that the cuts in state aid may not be applied equally across all towns and cities and that a per capita income adjustment or similar factor may be applied… which doesn’t bode well for Longmeadow’s share of the cuts.
  • Ms. Crosbie wants to maintain current headcount in order to retain key experience and knowledge within town departments. Furthermore, there is no excess in current staffing to provide required municipal services. Clerical staffing is being rotated from department to department when needed to complete specific projects. However, she acknowledged that salaries are a very large factor within the overall town government budget and that large reductions in expenditures will be difficult to achieve without staffing reductions.

    In an effort to curtail FY09 expenses, two open job town government vacancies will not be filled.

Overall, not much good news from last night’s meeting. In fact, it looks like there will be an additional shortfall of ~ $200K in town revenue that will need to be compensated in addition to what the state announces late next week.

The SB seemed resigned to wait until the "financial tsnami" hits Longmeadow at the end of next week and will take up discussion of what to do next at their regular meeting on February 2.

Stay tuned to the LongmeadowBuzz blog for additional updates.

No comments: