Subcommittee votes favorably on final budget

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North Attleborough Town Hall
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After two months of meetings, the North Attleborough Subcommittee on Finance voted to recommend the Town Council approve a $105.8 million budget for Fiscal Year 2024.

The subcommittee voted 5-1 on June 8 to send the budget proposed by Town Manager Michael Borg back to the council with a favorable recommendation. Craig Cameron was the sole no-vote. The council will vote on the budget’s adoption on June 12.

Chairman John Simmons said he was pleased with the budget’s topline number and credited Borg’s office for being transparent with the council and committee throughout the process. He said the budget represents the town’s ability to fund capital improvement projects such as refurbishing schools and roads while also saving money.

“We continue to put money into our savings vehicles in town while investing in the town’s infrastructure,” Simmons said. “The budget is built on conservative estimates for receipts and growth and realistic expenses on the other side.”

Councilor Mark Gould also expressed satisfaction with the budget but said there could have been more state aid funding for North Attleborough’s roads and education.

“I think the administration did a great job of incorporating my suggestions of adding $400,000 to the Capital Improvement Stabilization Account,” Gould said. “I would have liked to see more road repair money from both the state and local funding through Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90.”

The budget marks a $3.75 million, or 3.67% increase in spending from the last fiscal year. The budget calls for the hiring of four new police officers, two part-time assistants for Animal Control, a full-time school joint facilities director, and a full-time resident services representative. A total of $15,799,106 will go towards capital improvement projects, including replacing the old boiler at the Falls Elementary School and purchasing the roof for the Amvet Elementary School.

A day before the vote, the Town Council held a public hearing on the budget—a requirement under Massachusetts law. In a public hearing, members of the town may speak about the budget, explaining why they are for or against it. Dick Kieltyka was the only person at the meeting who made public comments.

Kieltyka opposed the budget and told the council they were not listening to the voters who elected them.

“North Attleborough’s tax-paying residents have confided to me that the reason they don’t show up to vote is that they feel the fix is in,” Kieltyka said. “As everything has already been decided by North Attleborough town leaders and special interest groups.”

Despite Kieltyka’s comments, the council appears to be on track to approve the budget on June 12. Councilor Gould acknowledged that while the budget is not perfect, he said it supports the people of North Attleborough for the next Fiscal Year.

“All in all, it’s a solid budget,” Gould said. “It provides the essential needs of North Attleborough, and supports schools, public safety, recreation, and infrastructure.”