MARLBOROUGH – For his final operating budget as mayor, Arthur Vigeant is recommending an overall outlay of nearly $189 million for fiscal 2024.
The proposed budget, which was brought before the City Council on May 8, is about $8.2 million above the fiscal 2023 budget.
According to a letter sent to the City Council, Vigeant said much of the increase can be attributed to “a continued increase in utility costs, Assabet Valley Regional Vocational School, contract services and added staffing.”
“During budget planning, thirteen department heads requested changes in personnel and/or salary increases,” he added.
Among the proposed new hires – a plumber and electrician for public facilities; and a head adult services librarian and a program outreach librarian for the Marlborough Public Library.
“Public facilities has struggled to find plumbing contractors, and we are proposing to raise the salary to attract a qualified plumber to fill this new position,” said Vigeant. “Currently, the city contracts out plumbing work at $120 hourly rate.”
Vigeant said the city is anticipating a net total of $44,015,549 in local aid from the Commonwealth due to a “substantial” increase in Chapter 70. He also anticipates the city will collect an additional $2 million in tax revenue thanks to new growth.
Increased revenue from the state will also help the city increase its snow and ice budget by $500,000.
For capital outlay, the city plans to fund a new vehicle for the Police Department and upgraded polling equipment for the city clerk’s office.
“I am proud to share that our continued disciplined fiscal management will allow the city to fulfill the higher costs of doing business and above-mentioned initiatives with a $2.5 million reduction in the real estate tax levy, a zero percent increase in health insurance to our employees and retirees, and a zero percent increase in water and sewer rate to our residents within the FY24 budget,” said Vigeant. “I would like to thank our strong finance team, Auditor Diane Smith and Finance Director Patrick Jones and their staff for their continued dedication.”
The City Council’s Finance Committee held public hearings on the FY24 proposed budget on Monday, May 15, and Tuesday, May 16.
The full council has scheduled a public hearing on the budget for Monday, May 22, at 8 p.m.