THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – Friday, March 1, 2019 Page 5 Town Manager’s FY ’20 budget recommends funds for new traffic enforcement unit within the Police Department By Mark E. Vogler T own Manager Scott C. Crabtree said getting money to fund a new unit staffed by three police officers to oversee traffic enforcement is a top priority in the town budget he is recommending for the 2020 fiscal year that begins July 1. “As a first step in addressing traffic and public safety issues, the budget reflects additional positions in the Police Department as recommended by the Police Chief for a dedicated traffic unit,” Crabtree wrote in a recent three-page letter to the Board of Selectmen. “As you know, public safety has been a top priority for this administration over the years. Police and Fire staffing is at an all-time high, and the Town will continue to identify the public safety needs as we dedicate additional resources to further address the increasing demands of the community,” he wrote. A copy of the town manager’s proposed budget was not available at press time. But the town manager said it would be posted on the town website by early next week. The letter, which was titled “Preliminary Operating Budget Estimate for Fiscal Year 2020,” accompanied the proposed budget submitted by the town manager to the board. Selectmen were scheduled to meet last night with Crabtree to review and vote on his budget recommendations. That essentially kicks off the budget season, which ends in May as the major business to be considered at the Annual Town Meeting. The challenges of fixed costs The total estimated Expenditure Budget is $90,195,521 for the town’s General Fund and $12,170,231 for the Water and Sewer Enterprise Funds, for a total Fiscal Year 2020 estimated expenditure amount of $102,365,752, according to Crabtree. “There are challenges in preparing the estimates of expenditures in this Budget, such as, Town-wide fixed cost increases,” Crabtree said. He estimated that increases in fixed costs could total more than $1.6 million before factoring in contractual wage adjustments. In his budget message to selectmen, he noted: Trash hauling and incineration has been increasing at a concerning rate over the last couple of fiscal years. In addition, due to the changes in the recycling industry involving, specifically, China, the cost of disposal of recyclable materials is on the rise. We are estimating an increase of $395,500.00 in the next fiscal year. 2 Week Night Classes MARCH 18 One Week Day Class APRIL16 School Vacation CALL - ENROLL or Register Online 617-387-9121 HENRYSAUTOSCHOOL.COM EVERETT AUTO SCHOOL “Successful Key To Driving” Since 1938 Gift Certificates Available Dr. Priti Amlani · Restorative Dentistry · Cosmetic Dentistry · Implant Restorations · Zoom Whitening · Teeth in a Day - All on 6 Full Mouth Rehabilitation Before After Dr. Bruce Goldman Dr. Bhavisha Patel · Invisalign · CEREC Crowns (Single visit crowns) · Root Canal Treatment · Sedation Dentistry Health Insurance – The rates have not been finalized by the provider. The Town can expect that the rate will be set within the next few months. Our health insurance provider has advised to conservatively estimate an increase of $945,105. Pension Contribution – The pension appropriation increase of $226,369 for a total payment in Fiscal Year 2020 of $6,951,113 is based on a funding schedule prepared by the Public Employees Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) to fully fund the pension obligation from 2026 to 2029. The funding schedule was amended based on the most recent actuarial valuation as of January 1, 2017, and voted by the Saugus Retirement System. Regional School Assessments – Vocational education, inclusive of Northeast Regional Vocational and Essex North Shore Tech, is budgeted for $3,779,161 based on estimated numbers provided by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) on our minimum required contribution. The DESE enrollment estimates for Northeast Regional School have decreased in FY20 as compared to FY19. If you recall, FY19 saw an increase from 198 to 215 students. DESE estimates indicate 192 students next year. As you know, enrollment information is not confirmed by the DESE until April 2019. At that time, we will receive information from Essex North Shore Tech regarding the number of Saugus students they have accepted to their school in September, and Northeast Regional will have their budget Our 80th Year EDUCATION Next Classes DRIVER voted and will have determined our assessment. Adjustments may be required to be made accordingly. Other Insurance – The various property, liability and workers’ compensation insurance premium estimates have been budgeted based on an increase of eight percent over actual fiscal year 2019 premiums recommended by the provider. The premiums will not be finalized until sometime in the spring. The School Department Fiscal Year 2020 estimated budget recommendation is $29,375,250, an increase of $300,000 over the current budget approved by Town Meeting, according to Crabtree. “This increase does not include the indirect costs paid by the Town on behalf of the School Department and included as part of the total Net School Spending [NSS] calculation required by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education,” Crabtree said. “For Fiscal Year 2018 DESE reports based on budgeted expenditures that the Town of Saugus is 47.1 percent over the required NSS amount up from 41.5 percent in Fiscal Year 2017, an increase of 5.6 percent.” SNOW BLOWER SALES, SERVICE & REPAIRS Pickup/Delivery Available 781-289-6466 www.reverealuminumwindow.com Eastern Bank Bldg. on RT-1 605 Broadway, #301 Saugus, MA 01906 (781) 233-6844 www.bostonnorthdental.com

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