Grafton proposes a ‘lean’ budget for fiscal 2025

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Grafton proposes a ‘lean’ budget for fiscal 2025
Grafton is considering a fiscal year 2025 budget with a 3.75% increase. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

GRAFTON – When residents head to Town Meeting on Monday, May 13, they will consider a budget for fiscal 2025 that will be approximately a 3.75% increase over fiscal 2024.

According to Town Administrator Evan Brassard, the town dealt with several challenges while putting together the budget, from unpredictable state aid to cost increases in insurance and waste hauling.

Our FY25 budget is well along in the process,” said Brassard. “While it is a lean year, there are only a few changes … on the municipal side of the budget. There are no decreases or impacts to services provided to residents.”

The town’s total budget is $77,498,363 for fiscal 2025. Just over $45 million is to fund Grafton Public Schools; the $1.3 million increase over the 2024 fiscal year is attributed to salary and wage increases.

The 2025 fiscal budget will mark the fifth and final year that the town will expend funds from the 2019 override.

For FY26, it remains to be seen whether we need an override, but projections point to that being more and more likely,” said Brassard. “We are refining the five-year projections now in light of current FY25 funding and will look to have the entire package, including upcoming commercial and housing growth, in July.”

Capital requests

As part of the proposed budget for fiscal 2025 are 31 capital requests, totaling $2.03 million.

The requests will include:

DPW – John Deere tractor with roadside brush cutter – $189,000

Police Department – landscape slope in front of the station, install sidewalk – $35,000; replace two police cruisers – $122,000; taser replacement – $21,000

Fire Department – lease on Engine 3 – $104,000; replace Engine 1 – $140,000; replace Engine 10 – $275,000

Grafton Public Schools – ceiling fan at Millbury Street Elementary School – $28,000; ceiling tile replacement at North Street Elementary School – $50,000; fire alarm panel replacement at Millbury Street – $50,000; key project, phase II – $$68,000; kitchen grease trap replacement, North Street – $16,000; PA replacement, Grafton Middle School – $60,000; PA system upgrade, Grafton High School – $36,000; PA system upgrade, Millbury Street – $56,000; PA system upgrade, North Grafton Elementary School – $40,000; PA system, North Street – $30,000; PA system upgrade, South Grafton Elementary School – $70,000; redesign main entryway, North Street – $90,000; repair of walkway, high school – $50,000; repave playground, North Grafton – $110,000; replace bathroom stalls, North Street – $16,000; shades at North Grafton – $45,000

Highway Department – replace 1-ton dump truck/rack body – $90,000; replace truck 21 – $70,000; zero turn mower and bagger – $16,000

Cemetery and Parks Department – replacement of 2016 Ferris mower – $16,000

Planning Board – MVP 2.0 Planning Process – $45,000; Open Space and Recreation Plan and ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan Update – $25,000

Fire Station – Fire Station 3 upgrades – $100,000

Town Administrator – office furniture replacement – $30,000

Annual Town Meeting will convene on Monday, May 13, at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

The complete budget book is available via www.grafton-ma.gov.

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