Town budget in the black

Town Administrator David A. Colton has released a preliminary budget memorandum and a summary of the town’s financial condition, and has held two public meetings to explain them. The bottom line, according to Colton, is that the town has made the needed cuts over the past several years and finished fiscal 2011, which ended last June 30, in the black by $510,193. He credited “careful estimation of revenues by the financial team, disciplined management of spending by department heads, and reasonable settlements of collective bargaining agreements with our employees.” The town reorganized departments and also adopted a local option meals tax of 0.75 percent, bringing in $442,802 since 2009. Total operating revenue for fiscal 2013, which begins July 1, is projected to be $68,296,681, up 2.13 percent from the current fiscal year. Expenses are projected to rise to $69,115,857, or 3.36 percent. The town and School Department continue to work on final budget submissions. - Steve Hatch