Town Manager Thomas E. Coyle III's proposed fiscal 2015 budget is out and we've broken out each major budget area for easy review.
Manager: $191,331 proposed
This line item decreased by $10,381, or 5.15 percent, after staffing changes that occurred in the current fiscal year.
Town Clerk: $241,545 proposed
Personnel adjustments due to promotions and contractual changes reflect the only increase. The budget change is an increase of $9,509, or 4.10 percent.
Town Solicitor: $172,500 proposed
This department is unchanged from last year.
Municipal Court: $39,402 proposed
Personnel adjustments and contractual changes resulted in an increase of $1,117 or 2.92 percent.
Probate Judge: $5,500
This item is level funded.
Employee Benefits: $5,681,072 proposed
This item represents a $655,147 increase, or 13.04 percent. Coyle said human resource demands have necessitated a part-time human resource consultant, which makes up $30,000 of the increase. Pension costs for police, fire and the town employees are up significantly at 22.61, 35.50 and 54.34 percent respectively.
Coyle said those increases are state-mandated and the town’s required contribution into the Municipal Employee Pension System, or MERS.
Insurance: $413,475 proposed
This is an increase of $22,792, or 5.83 percent. The increase is the result of the town absorbing Fire Department properties and needed insurance for two stations.
Contingency Fund: $12,500
This is level funded
Board of Canvassers: $40,500 proposed
With an election year this year, this item is increasing 178.35 percent, or $25,950.
Finance: $646,946 proposed
This department’s budget increased by $12,178 or 1.92 percent based on salary adjustments and contractual obligations. Overall operations are level funded.
Information Technology: $503,546 proposed
This department is seeing a proposed $38,932 increase, or 8.38 percent due to the need for a full-time network administrator at $55,000. The IT department currently has one person who can’t keep up with overwhelming demand for services from the entire town, Coyle said and with the merger of the Fire Department, there has been an uptick in town use of technology in general.
Police Department: $3.27 million proposed
The Police Department budget is seeing a proposed $145,342 increase, which reflects the 3 percent contractual salary increase, a $5,000 line item to initiate narcotics investigations that could “increase the potential gains on asset forfeiture,” Coyle said. It also includes backfilling of one police officer position necessitated by Coyle’s move from police chief to Town Manager. He noted it is not a new officer position and the budget increase for the department is 4.65 percent.
Fire Department: $3.637 million proposed
The Fire Department sees a $68,790 decrease in fiscal 2015 due to the elimination of one administrative position, the decision to put off two firefighter hires, a reduction in continuing education and the transfer of a facility maintenance line item from the fire Department to the public works department thanks to the fire department’s acquisition. The decrease is 1.86 percent.
$3.397 million proposed
Coyle is proposing the addition of another mechanic to the current staffing situation as the town’s fleet has grown in recent years, especially in the police and fire departments.
This has put strain on the department as it tries to keep the town’s fleet on the road. The need for immediate repairs has gone up causing a backlog, Coyle said. Solid waste costs have decreased by $20,000 due to the switch to the bi-weekly automated trash collection system. The rest of the 3.72 percent increase in the department is for equipment mainenence agreements that now include fire stations, street light costs, more auto parts and supplies purchases and gasoline costs.
The total increase for the department is $121,746.
Recreation Department: $632,226 proposed
Coyle is proposing an increase of $32,953, or 5.5 percent for salary adjustments, a promotion and upticks in the lease land account, clothing maintenance contract and new fertilization, seed and sod and parks and grounds service contracts.
Teen Center: $10,000 proposed
This item is level funded.
Town Planner: $201,242 proposed
This item is increasing by $10,814, or 5.68 percent, for step increases and salary increases.
Senior and Human Services: $250,733 proposed
This item is increasing by $7,049, or 2.89 percent for an increase in senior programs and contractual obligations.
Grants and Contributions: $29,000
This item is level funded. The money here is used for the East Greenwich Animal Protection League, the Main Street Association and Summer’s End.
Land Trust: $48,300 proposed
This item is level funded.
Library: $499,141 proposed
This is an increase of $12,266, or 2.52 percent, for salary increases. The library is expecting to receive $121,085 in state aid. Coyle noted that if local support for a library is reduced, the town could lose that state aid.
Capital Improvement: $707,650 proposed
This item is increasing $126,951, or 21.86 percent. Coyle outlined a host of projects and purchases as part of the capital improvement plan for fiscal 2015. Check back soon for a separate post outlining each of the proposed expenses, which include new police cars, painting of town hall, playground resurfacing, new police equipment, furniture, an oxygen generator, a 2-ton roller and $170,000 in road repairs.
Debt Service: $6,745,107 proposed
The budget change for fiscal 2015 is a decrease of 1.25 percent. It is vitally important to note that the $6.745m figure is the gross debt service amount. After housing aid, a federal tax subsidy and transfer from the deb service fund, the net debt service is actually $4.263 million. The total dollar amount of the proposed increase is just $85,271, which includes both town and school debt.
Coyle is proposing a budget increase of 2.19 percent for the school department. The allocation would increase from $31.77 million to $32.47 million. The actual increase would be $695,899.