The Select Board approved it’s very first 1/12 budget for the month of July 2020.
The board voted unanimously last week to approve the $17.1 million 1/12 budget Town Manager Andrew Flanagan proposed, which includes $5.1 million for town expenses, $7.4 for school expenses and $4.6 million for obligatory expenses, such as debts incurred for capital improvements and health insurance for town employees.
“This is a process we may only do once,” Flanagan said during the meeting. “Once being tonight, and if the board does approve the budget as proposed it will be sent to the director of accounts and get approved there at DOR (the Department of Revenue).”
Due to postponements resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, the state has stipulated in Section 5 of Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020, which address the “challenges faced by municipalities and state authorities resulting from COVID-19,” that if the pandemic prevents a town’s adoption of an annual budget by the end of the fiscal year, which is June 30, then the town can appropriate a budget for July “of not less than 1/12 of the total budget.”
Generally speaking, the town’s budget is approved at Town Meeting prior to the end of the fiscal year. Since Town Meeting has been postponed until July 22, the board needed to appropriate a 1/12 budget to cover the month in the meantime.
In addition, the board transferred $548,734 into the town’s compensation fund to cover the cost of collective bargaining agreements that were settled after last year’s Town Meeting.
They also transferred money within the FY 2021 budget into the Greater Lawrence Technical School, snow and ice removal, and salary accounts of those in the recreation departments (i.e. elder services).
Lastly, the board increased the expenditure limit of the town’s recreation revolving account.