Friday, May 10, 2013
Town Meeting voters will vote on a $69 million operating budget on May 20.
Easton selectmen voted this week to approve a town operating budget of $69,225,287 - a 2.56 percent increase from the prior fiscal year. The budget will be before Town Meeting voters on May 20. It is outlined in a memo distributed to selectmen by Town Administrator David Colton, who said he worked with Easton's budget subcommittee to achieve a balanced budget. In February, the budget faced a $900,000 deficit. The most notable change in the FY14 budget as opposed to the FY13 budget will be the implementation of two new police officers and two new firefighters midway through the year. The half-year funding will allow for flexibility in the first half of the year. Colton said in his recent memo that a major challenge has been the school …
Thursday, February 28, 2013
While specific deductions would end, personal exemptions would double under the Patrick budget.
A recent analysis of Gov. Deval Patrick's proposed budget finds that it eliminates 44 tax breaks that benefit a large slice of Massachusetts taxpayers. Patrick's $34.8 billion FY2014 budget includes not only a 1 percentage point hike in the income tax – from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent – but the end of such deductions such as the capital gains from the sale of a person's primary home, college tuition, and contributions to a health savings account. The analysis, by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, found that the eliminations would raise an additional $1 billion for the commonwealth. But Patrick's assistant secretary for fiscal policy, Gregory R. Mennis, told The Republican that that amount would be offset by the doubling of …
Friday, April 27, 2012
The budget would fund two additional positions to the High School while eliminating three Elementary School positions.
The Easton School Committee voted unanimously Thursday night to approve an operating budget for the 2012-2013 school year in the amount of $33,731,471. The budget represents a 4.23 percent, or $1,367,929, increase from last year's $32,363,542 budget. Superintendent Dr. Michael Green said that certain challenges came with constructing this year's budget - particularly the loss of Federal Jobs money funding Special Education programs, which ran out and left the School Department with a $500,000 deficit. "That $500,000 loss is huge for us," School Committee member Donna Abelli said. "But, I think we’re managing well." The School Department will restore a position in the Oliver Ames High School social studies department that was lost last year…
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
A new budget memorandum closes Easton's original budget deficit of $819,000.
Although there are missing components and final numbers yet to be determined, Town Administrator David Colton presented an updated Fiscal Year 2013 preliminary budget memorandum to Easton Selectmen Monday night that closes the $819,000 deficit illustrated in the town's February preliminary budget. The updated numbers will still include the restoration of two firefighter positions and one police officer position. Additionally, the FY13 budget will include two central dispatch personnel that were added during February's Special Town Meeting. "This does not change anything that we proposed in the budget, such as two firefighters, police officer, and two dispatchers," he said. "It does not change any of that. We are still going ahead with …
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
David Colton presented a preliminary budget for FY2013 that had a brighter outlook than previous years.
Easton Town Administrator David Colton is hoping to put a budget forward for Fiscal Year 2013 that will restore two firefighter positions and one police officer position lost this year. "We’re restoring [emergency] personnel from 64 to 67," Colton told Selectmen Monday night. "It's still below [pre-recession levels of] 71, but we're moving in the right direction." The budget outlook has been better than recent years, he said. He also reiterated the need to proceed with caution and rebuild the town's stabilization fund. "I’m hopeful that FY2013 is the beginning of the economic recovery," he said. "Things are starting to turn around. There are a lot of indicators to that." Colton's preliminary budget restores two firefighter positions lost…
Monday, January 23, 2012
Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray previews Patrick-Murray Administration's budget investments at Massachusetts Municipal Association meeting.
Monday, January 23, 2012
From the office of Governor Deval Patrick. Delivering Friday’s keynote address at the 33rd Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual meeting, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray announced more than $5.2 billion in state funding to cities and towns, including a $145 million increase in K-12 Chapter 70 education aid – the highest level in history – which will be included in the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposal. “Massachusetts is leading the nation out of the global economic recession thanks to our targeted investments and strong partnerships with cities and towns,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “Governor Patrick and I are proud to support our municipal partners with these investments in local aid and …
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
The committee will submit a final report to the Board of Selectmen at the end of the month.
After three months of taking a close look at Easton's fire-fighting capability, the Fire House Study Committee is almost ready to sign off on a final report on July 28. One thing is clear: the three-member committee does not recommend closing one of three fire houses on a permanent basis in the interest of public safety. "Our recommendation not to close a fire station at this time will allow the Fire Department to have the flexibility to complete its mission statement," according to a draft of the report. The committee met on July 13 to provide the necessary revisions to the draft report before the next meeting on July 28. The committee was appointed by the selectmen to conduct a review of the current state of Easton's fire-fighting …
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Do you feel safe with one less fire station this summer?
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Beginning in June, we'll be asking Easton Patch readers a different question every weekday at noon. Questions could range from local decisions made by officials, to state issues, to national politics and entertainment. Whatever it is, we want to know what EASTON thinks! To answer, use our comments section below. This summer, the Easton Fire Department has been forced to shut down one out of its three fire stations on a rolling basis as a result of budget cuts. This year's budget cut two firefighter positions and the department is working with three less firefighters than before while one firefighter serves in the military overseas. The result, according to Fire Chief Tom Stone, could be lack of response time and manpower. On nights like …
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Your region roundup of news for Tuesday, June 14.
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011
A last minute change to the FY12 budget plan that moves $45,000 from the DPW to the Fire Department was approved Monday night
Easton voters approved a $66,894,757 budget for Fiscal Year 2012 Monday night at Town Meeting with a 1.74 percent increase over the current year. The budget, which calls $600,000 worth of cuts in town departments and $900,000 worth of cuts in the school department, was slightly different than what Town Administrator David Colton had presented at a Board of Selectmen meeting last week. Rather than cutting three positions from the fire department, Colton said he and Selectman Sean Noonan were able to work out a "compromise" with the Finance Committee and the Department of Public Works that salvaged one firefighter spot. As approved by town voters, the plan eliminates two positions in the Fire Department, two positions in the Police …