Topics: Municipal Finance

Proposed Budget Will Include Two New Firefighters

By: Alan Pollock

FinCom Identifies Housing As Town’s Top Priority CHATHAM — In the spirit of holding the line on expenses during the pandemic, Fire Chief David DePasquale did not ask for new full-time firefighters in the fiscal 2022 town budget, even though he’s made it clear that the extra hands are needed. Last week, having heard that the finance committee could support the idea, the select board asked Town Manager Jill Go...

HARWICH — Property owners made it clear to selectmen Monday night that the time is not right to place additional taxes on rental units. Selectmen were weighing a couple of draft warrant articles for the annual town meeting warrant that could have increased rental taxes by 2 to 5 percent, but decided to table the proposal for now and take it up again at a later time. Room rental and home rental taxes here are c...

ORLEANS — With a structural deficit no longer looming in next fiscal year’s budget, the select board considered last week what programs and services could be added back into the spending plan. A projected unused tax levy capacity of $640,000 allowed the board to develop a list of potential additions ranging from increased hours for a part-time video technician to creation of a part-time recreation coordinato...

ORLEANS — Is it worth it to the citizens of the four member towns of the Nauset school system to pay for a revamped high school that will serve their children but also hundreds of students from other Cape communities which will not help pay for the project? That’s a question that has caused deep divisions in Brewster, Eastham, Orleans, and Wellfleet, including split votes on a couple of finance committee...

Harwich Bears Brunt Of Monomoy School Budget Hike

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — There are still a lot of variables, but Monomoy Regional School District Superintendent Scott Carpenter provided selectmen with a draft FY22 budget Monday containing an overall 1.5 percent increase over this year. Harwich’s share of the budget, however, is projected to increase between 2.9 and 3.2 percent. The student population gap between Chatham and Harwich is becoming a major issue. On Monday sel...

HARWICH — There was a sense of urgency expressed by selectmen Monday night when Monomoy Regional Schools Superintendent Scott Carpenter came before the board to discuss the growing inequities in the per pupil budgets in the district's elementary schools. In the past decade the Harwich Elementary School student population has decreased by 12 percent. At the Chatham Elementary School the enrollment has declined ...

ORLEANS — “Nearly every usable piece of land owned by the Town of Orleans is being used for a public purpose,” Director of Planning and Community Development George Meservey reported in a letter to Town Administrator John Kelly last month. At the select board’s Nov. 18 meeting, the planner reviewed three of those properties: the former American Legion Hall across from town hall at 139 Main St., the former highway...

CHATHAM — Each year, selectmen and the town manager begin the process of creating a budget by setting their goals and objectives, meeting in a special Saturday session. This year’s session yielded a list of priorities shaped in part by the pandemic. “Seeing that COVID-19 was impacting a lot of our ability to move forward with our work that we had been thinking about doing, we did review our established mission...

HARWICH — Financial leadership and stability, implementation of the comprehensive wastewater management plan and the creation of affordable and workforce housing were identified as priority goals for the coming year by the board of selectmen. Selectmen approved five goals on Oct. 19, also including as priorities economic development and working with the interim town administrator, financial director and reside...

Selectmen Push For 2 Percent Budget Increase In FY22

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Having just put a FY21 budget in place, selectmen on Monday began shaping the message for funding the next fiscal year’s spending plan. The message contained in the draft proposal stated the desire to stay within the spending limits of Proposition 2½, but that was not strong enough for members of the board. “Selectmen desire a budget that is within the Proposition 2½ limits without the need for a gen...

Harwich Town Meeting Finally Approves Operating Budgets

By: William F. Galvin

Special District, Multi-family Update OK'd HARWICH — It was long awaited, but residents finally got the opportunity to act on the annual town meeting warrant in an outdoor setting on Saturday. Five operating budgets were approved totaling $68, 957,862, a 1.4 percent decrease from last year's budget. Voters also approved unanimously a zoning amendment that creates a West Harwich Special District with a focus...

Davis: Census Shortfall Could Cost Chatham $144M

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — If you haven’t completed the U.S. Census yet, Selectmen Chairman Shareen Davis has 144 million reasons for you to do so. “It is important to fill out the census not for today but for the future,” she said. The town stands to lose $2,400 per resident who does not answer the census. In all, 6,000 year-round residents bring the town $14.4 million in federal funding annually, amounting to $144 million ...

ORLEANS — The winds have shifted for the town’s ship of state, and it’s time to trim the sails. Next month’s special town meeting is an opportunity for a mid-course correction that could help deal with even rougher seas ahead. Voters will be asked to increase fees and, for the first time, institute a $25 residential beach parking sticker. That measure has been rejected by town meeting in the past, but the beac...

Orleans Eyes Fee Increases To Close Budget Gap

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — With a million-dollar operating budget shortfall forecast for the fiscal year beginning July 2021, the select board and other officials are taking a hard look at expenses and revenues in a series of fiscal stability workshops. Last week, the focus was on fees the town charges for its services, and the potential for asking October’s special town meeting to make some changes that can take effect as early ...

ORLEANS — At an extraordinary online meeting of the town’s and regional school system’s leadership July 22, Nauset Superintendent Tom Conrad pledged that he and his colleagues will be “good partners and find ways to help each other in terms of saving precious dollars we have coming in from the community.” “We’re anxious to brainstorm with others and find ways to find savings to still serve educational needs ...

HARWICH – School budget planning is typically a challenging yearly task, but the planning of the FY21 budget for the Monomoy Regional School District has been further complicated by COVID closures and reschedules, forcing the district to opt for a one-twelfth budget as administrators await funding approval from town meetings. With Chatham’s town meeting not scheduled until June 22 and Harwich having postponed ...