Town officials voted to include anticipated tuition revenue from New Ashford in the Mount Greylock Regional School budget, against the school official's advice.
Mount Greylock had put forth a budget aimed to keep the town's contribution for Lanesborough Elementary School flat. But, there is still uncertainty around whether or not New Ashford will continue to send their children to the district. The district is raising tuition for New Ashford and next week residents there will decide whether o
The administration proposal had been for a flat sticker price of $60 a year for everyone; eliminate temporary and half-year stickers in favor of a single user-fee; and adjust the hours of operation. The flat rate would translate to a reduction of $12,725 in revenue for next year.
State Rep. John Barrett is making a statement with a budget amendment for regional transit.
Barrett said one penny on the sale tax ends up in the hands of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority and the rest of the regional transit authorities are getting shortchanged. This year the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority is considering hiking fares and reducing services as costs have increased but state support has remained level for the third consecutive year.
State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli's top budget priority isn't a surprise: Berkshire Youth Development.
The Lenox Democrat has prioritized programs such as the Railroad Street Youth Project for a number of years. And now, he's requesting more state funding to expand that into a countywide effort.
Canales said department heads will be queried about fee structures so they can be built into the fiscal 2020 budget. He said the two separate inspection departments will probably be moved into one department.
Each representative across the Commonwealth filed a number of amendments for specific projects in their district.
This year, state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier is putting all of her efforts behind just one: St. Mary the Morningstar.
A vote to approve the town administrator's personal services budget failed with a 1-9 vote because a majority of the committee felt the $95,000 salary cap for the town administrator's salary was out of line.
State Rep. Paul Mark is looking to create a Berkshire County opioid task force in the budget.
Mark has filed an amendment for $250,000 to start the task force with the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office, the Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Coalition, and a number of other organizations tackling the issue.
The committee will look through the draft budget over four meetings, the first of which was held on Wednesday night in City Council chambers. That session looked at general government, revenues, unclassified, debt and capital costs.
The final payment for the school bus fleet is moving to the city's side of the budget.
At the public hearing on the School Department's proposed budget Wednesday, Superintendent Jason McCandless said the $558,469 payment is being pulled from the budget request.
Staffing at the library has been an issue for some time now and five full-time employees must cover the 46 hours a week the library is open. Hackner said there are often gaps when employees take time off that cannot be filled with part-time employees and volunteers.
The BRTA is prepping for increasing fares and reducing service.
Berkshire Regional Transit Authority Administrator Robert Malnati said the state's funding for the organization is flat in the governor's budget.
On Wednesday, Town Manager Jason Hoch gave the Finance Committee an overview of the latest numbers for FY19, projecting an increase of 20.81 cents on the 2018 tax rate of $17.94 per $1,000 of valuation.
Town Manager Paul Sieloff believes the school's proposed budget is still too much.
Sieloff said he believes the town's assessment for the now regional school district should be about $200,000 less. Particularly, he said the health insurance estimate is about $100,000 too high and he wants the tuition for New Ashford to be factored into the equation.
When those costs are adjusted for an apples-to-apples comparison, the property tax burden for Williamstown Elementary comes out to $6.5 million, up from $6.4 million this year, a change of 1.84 percent.
Tarsa said there has been no lieutenant since his promotion to chief, but he has taken on the additional duties that leaves him less time to do his own work. He added the sergeant in question already performs some lieutenant responsibilities.
A question about the size of a single classroom at Lanesborough Elementary School led to a big-picture discussion about school funding at Tuesday's Mount Greylock Transition Committee meeting.
And it highlighted one of the challenges the district is likely to face as it implements an elementary school funding approach that paved the way for passing full regionalization in November.
On Tuesday, Search Committee Chairman Steven Miller told the full Transition Committee he had notified the two finalists and received confirmation from each that he and she would like to continue in the process.