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UPDATED March 9: Arlington has been told good news about its proposed state-aid figures from Gov. Maura Healey's proposed $55.5 billion state budget:

“[The numbers] were up substantially from what our original estimates were,” Town Manager Sandy Pooler said during the Select Board meeting on Feb. 27. “We thought [it] would be $750,000 in additional state aid -- and it’s close to $3 million.”

That amount is more than triple the earlier estimate.

The precise number is $2,837,556, according to a breakdown provided by Pooler March 3. The figure appears in the category of “net state aid” toward the bottom right of this document

The Long Range Planning Committee, an advisory group to the town manager that periodically reviews revenue and expenditure forecasts in  Arlington's five-year Long-Range Plan, is expected to consider this new information at its next meeting, held at 8 a.m. Friday, March 10. For details, click here >>

“Shortly thereafter, there will be a recommendation back [from the committee] to the board for consideration of whether to have an override this spring,” Pooler said. Here is the draft long-range financial projection as of March 3 >>

FY '23 2nd-quarter financial report on track

As to the town's second-quarter finances, “Everything is where it’s supposed to be, at 50 percent,” said Comptroller Ida Cody at the meeting. Expenses and revenues are 50 percent for both the general funds and enterprise funds. 

To see the full report, click here >>

More information from the Select Board meeting will be reported next week, including a separate news summary about the manager search. 

Select Board logo, 2019

Budget expectations known, unknown

As reported in February, projections have been that the town budget will increase by 3.5 percent, school budget 5.3 percent, capital spending 5 percent and pension assessment 5.7 percent. ARPA funds will allocate $357,092 for various one-time positions.

However, the following increases are currently uncertain: Minuteman High School assessment ($992,958 or 12.5 percent), health insurance (3.95 percent), state aid (2.94 percent), state assessments (2.94 percent) and offsets (1.78 percent).

In trying to head off an override this year, Pooler last month presented a scenario under which it could be avoided. “All these numbers will change once we see the state budget; they’re just snapshots in time,” he said. Gov. Healey's proposed budget was expected by March 1 but could be announced sooner, Pooler had said earlier.

Pooler last month said that the following factors this year and next would affect whether Arlington needs an override this spring:

  • New growth of $1 million for fiscal 2024: He expects to know more about this as the year goes along. The number appears to be in line with what the town's new growth has been over the past few years, so he said the number is not unreasonable; and
  • 7.1 percent increase in Chapter 78, or for new construction. That would give the town about $1.2 million, similar to the amount received for the current year, fiscal 2023.
Town enterprise funds

The town fiscal 2024 budget presentation also says that: 

  • Water/sewer rates are expected to pay the debt for the new Department of Public Works building. 
  • The Recreation Department is to have a 16.89 percent increase because more activities are now offered and because of the skating rink’s 6.77 percent increase. 
  • Transportation rates are to decrease by 34.47 percent because one staff position was eliminated, but the level of services will remain the same, officials say.
  • The Arlington Youth Counseling Center is to have an 11.3 percent increase because more staffers are being hired.
Watch the Feb. 27 meeting on ACMi:

Feb. 13, 2023: Town manager trying to steer clear of override this year

  


This news summary by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert was published Friday, March 3, 2023, and updated later that day to provide links to numbers for state aid and long-range financial projections.It was updated Saturday, March 4, to provide context, as well as March 9, to add meeting info.

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