Topics: Municipal Finance

Selectmen Worried Tax Lien Auction Will Hurt Some

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The town has taken steps to move forward with its plan to auction tax liens as a means of generating revenue from delinquent payments on property taxes. But selectmen on Monday night expressed concern that the initiative is moving too fast and questioned whether the necessary homework has been done. The town has scheduled the auction for June 6 and a list of tax titles scheduled to be assigned and tr...

HARWICH — The Friends of the Council on Aging, Inc. will file a petition in Barnstable County Probate Court to redirect approximately $700,000 it has raised over more than 40 years for constructing a senior center to instead fund programs, counseling, facilities and education to benefit senior citizens in town. The petition is being filed in the form of a complaint with the state Attorney General's Office, whi...

Harwich To Sell Tax Liens To Private Investor

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — With $5.7 million in tax liens sitting on the books, Treasurer/Tax Collector Amy Bullock has made the decision to sell the liabilities to a private investor. The sale could provide the town with a quick infusion of money. Bullock brought the idea to selectmen nearly a year ago, pointing out state law allows municipalities to sell tax liens to private investors. She said this week the town presently h...

ORLEANS — How to address the needs of a booming program can be even more complex than shoring up one in decline. By many measures, the council on aging is getting the job done. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 1,242 Orleans seniors were served by the senior center's many programs. While reason for satisfaction, some say the numbers call for a reorganization. “Members of the council on aging board, t...

Acknowledging that their draft wastewater agreement with Harwich is a complex, weighty document, some Chatham selectmen are floating the possibility of deferring action until a special town meeting in the summer or fall, rather than seeking approval at the May annual town meeting. The board will likely make a decision at its March 14 meeting, but several people at their Feb. 28 session raised the possibly of d...

HARWICH — Selectmen agreed Monday night to tiptoe through the funding of phase two of the comprehensive wastewater management plan, slated for the May annual town meeting. The board voted not to put forward a single request for $34 million to implement phase two, which calls for the design and construction of sewers in the Pleasant Bay watershed; payment to the town of Chatham for the purchase of treatment cap...

Revenue Researchers Engage Citizens At Forum

By: Alan Pollock

ORLEANS — About 50 people came to the senior center March 1 to find out more about the revenue committee's proposals to pay for town operations such as the beaches and the transfer station out of their own dedicated income streams. At the Orleans Citizens Forum event, committee member Paul Kelleher presented research that showed, compared to equal Cape communities, the town has the highest percentage of prop...

HARWICH — Grasping municipal finance can be like learning a foreign language. That's the sentiment of Carol Coppola, the town's prospective finance director/town accountant, who said she's eager to make the budgetary process easier for people to understand. By unanimous vote of selectmen Monday, and pending successful salary negotiations, Coppola will take the town's top finance job in about a month. Copp...

Clark Floats $60.7M Spending Plan For FY18

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — Saying there's evidence that town finances are stabilizing, Town Administrator Christopher Clark submitted a balanced budget to selectmen Monday night. The draft fiscal 2018 spending plan will now be scrutinized by selectmen and the finance committee and is likely to undergo many revisions before town meeting in May. Though it omits or reduces nearly $1 million in funding requests from department hea...

Public Safety Budget Request Up Nearly 6 Percent

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Driven by personnel costs, and particularly overtime expenses, the town's public safety budget requests are up 5.92 percent over the current year's spending plan. The police and fire department budgets make up the majority of the $6.18 million request, though the figure also includes the animal control officer, emergency management, oil pollution control and a contribution to the Cape and Islands e...

Monomoy Budget Up 5.49%, Chatham's Share Increases

By: Alan Pollock , William F. Galvin

Superintendent Scott Carpenter has presented his draft fiscal 2018 spending plan for the Monomoy Regional School District, including an operating budget that's up nearly 5.5 percent over the current budget. The $38,115,065 draft spending plan includes a $35.5 million operating budget, plus $2.6 million in debt service and $305,000 in capital expenses. All tolled, it would be a 4.8 percent increase over this ye...

Chatham Employees Picket Over Lack Of Contract

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Several town employees handed out leaflets and wore placards outside of last week's special town meeting to draw attention to the fact that they've been without a contract for nearly two years. “We just want people to know the truth,” said Chatham Municipal Employees Association President Gary J. Kaser, who also picketed outside last Tuesday's board of selectmen's meeting. “Bottom line...this affe...

Goldsmith Proposes $30.12M Operating Budget For FY18

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Town Manager Jill Goldsmith presented selectmen Tuesday with a balanced, level-service operating budget for FY18 that's comfortably under the Proposition 2½ levy limit. At $30,124,872, it represents an increase of 3.89 percent over the current year's spending plan. The figure doesn't include the cost of educating the town's children, which adds approximately $9.3 million in assessments to the Monom...

Proposed FY18 Budget Squeezes Under 2½ Cap

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — Town Administrator John Kelly's recommended operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 includes the maximum 2.5 percent increase allowed by state law. “We're at a crossroads,” Kelly told the board of selectmen Jan. 18. “There is nothing left in the operating budget that we can reduce to maintain 2½ unless we reduce staff. At the end of the day, we will have to talk about what services we...

CHATHAM – For eight years, Karolyn McClelland has lived with the possibility of losing her home due to what officials acknowledge was a “perfect storm” of mistakes and miscommunications. Next week, special town meeting voters will be asked to fix the situation by transferring funds to cover back taxes on McClelland's Beach Plum Road property, taxes that would have already been paid in full had the property bee...

CHATHAM – It's been a long struggle for Dale Eldredge. A native who graduated from Chatham High School in 1993, Eldredge spent a dozen years working to acquire the title to a lot on Stony Hill Road owned by his family. Originally owned by his grandmother, the property's ownership was shared by a number of aunts and uncles; Eldredge had inherited his share when his father passed away. Over the years he was able...