Update on Town Council Budget Meeting

As required by the Town Charter, the Town Council held a Budget Public Hearing on Monday night. Because there were not any citizen budget petitions, no votes could take place. There were two speakers–one of Charlestown’s largest developers and a gravel bank owner questioned spending money on open space and the vice chair of the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee made a similar statement.

The voters have approved $2 million in bond funding for open space. The Town Council voted earlier this year to use some of these funds to partner with the Charlestown Land Trust to preserve an openspace parcel on Watchaug Pond. The Budget Commission had proposed paying for this with funds from surplus and then debit the total amount of remaining bonding authority. This was proposed as a cost saving measure because selling bonds requires paying a fee to the bond council and other expenses. Legal staff have said the funds need to come directly from the bond funds rather than surplus. On Monday night the Town Council said they will take the transfer from surplus out of the budget.

As proposed the budget is as follows:

TOTAL MUNICIPAL BUDGET = $11,443,639
TOTAL CHARIHO BUDGET = $14,894,812
GRAND TOTAL MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOLS EXPENDITURES = $26,338,451

Voting will take place at the June 4, 2012 all day Referendum.