North Adams City Council Unanimously Oks ‘Maintenance Budget’ Up 1.92% For FY19
The City Council unanimously approved a new budget that aims to maintain current services but does not include major investments.
The Berkshire Eagle reports the $40.72 million fiscal 2019 budget is a $766,430, or 1.92 percent, increase over the previous year's spending plan.
Mayor Thomas Bernard outlined the budget as one that does not rely on the city's reserves to balance expenditures but also does not reduce city services to residents.
The property tax increase to the average single-family home, assessed at $138,000, is projected to be $93 annually, according to city officials.
The fiscal 2019 budget projects a slight decrease in the city share of employee health insurance premiums in the upcoming year due to "highly favorable negotiations" with the city's insurance provider, according to Bernard.
The final budget increases the city's tourism director position from a 0.75 part-time position to a full-time equivalent, adds a half-time clerk in the treasurer and collector's office, and funds a temporary position in the city clerk's office to assist in the transition as City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau prepares to retire.
The budget calls for a one percent raise for all nonunion staff and accounts for the increases in negotiated contracts with the city's union workers.
The original budget proposal included a gap of $114,000, which was closed in the final budget primarily through two reductions.
The city reduced its labor reserve account — money set aside to settle contract negotiations with unions — because its labor contracts have been settled.
The city also decreased its veterans benefits expenses to be closer in line with actual expenses.