HUDSON – Executive Assistant Thomas Gregory reviewed the 2025 fiscal year budget at the Dec. 18 meeting of the Select Board.
He presented a first pass at the budget, including the revenue sources and expenses that were projected. Some of the budget assumptions for the town, he said, had been laid out after meeting with the town departments in November, setting the tax rate on Dec. 4.
“I’ve now been able to present a balanced budget, but the budget is balanced using assumptions that are really premature,” Gregory said.
However, since Hudson will not have the state aid numbers or the governor’s final budget until January, the budget presented was based on reasonable assumptions about these numbers based on previous data.
He said there would be no expansion of services, but rather a continuation of providing level services. There would also be a 2% cost of living adjustment included in the budget for nonunion employee wages.
“There are no new municipal positions that I’m recommending,” he said.
The debt service budget will stay level. In addition, the school district will get a 2.25% increase to its appropriation from the town, which is “less than I would have hoped,” he said.
He recommended the potential use of overlay surplus funds, which is a balance in the overlay account that is in excess of what remains to be collected, as a revenue source to balance the budget.
In keeping departments funded, some challenges were increases to the workers’ compensation premiums, supply chain issues in terms of delays and increased costs for goods and services. He recognized the town departments’ efforts to do more with less funds than they originally requested.
“I worked with the departments to identify about $350,000 in cuts to their requests,” Gregory said.
Some good news came regarding health insurance in that the town was “in a good position” with just a small increase within the budget. In the 2024 fiscal year, he budgeted $478,000 in mitigation payments as part of the design change to the insurance plans they negotiated with the union. Legislation required that Hudson pay 25% of the total plan savings, and Gregory said he was “able to carve that into this year’s health insurance appropriation.”
The overall budget came in at $94,840,592, a $3.48 million increase over the 2024 fiscal year. The three main funding sources for the budget are the tax levy, state aid and local receipts, said Gregory.
In terms of the levy, there is a projected increase of $2.57 million. For state aid, a combined amount of $608,420 that represented the government and education state aid was estimated, and a $37,857 increase in local receipts, revenue like the motor vehicle excise tax, cell tower lease revenue and fees, was projected.
On the expense side, there is a projected $974,370 increase for the Hudson Public Schools, $1.15 million for the town departments, $477,764 for pension assessments and $25,000 for debt services.
Gregory noted that they are in an early part of the budget cycle. If the picture for revenue does improve, he could close any budget gap with less from the overlay surplus funds.