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
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.
School officials expect to present a budget to the town by the end of the month.
The budgets for Lanesborough Elementary School and Mount Greylock Regional Middle and High School will look very different when it goes to town meeting this year. With the merger, there is a significant amount of shifting of cost centers. Most notably, health insurance will shift out of the town's budget and into the school district's budget.
Town Manager Paul Sieloff is proposing a town budget that would raise the tax rate by 1.5 percent.
Sieloff says is proposing two major additions - two emergency medical technicians to work in the Highway Department and doubling the amount of money going toward road projects. The town manager says the town will particularly benefit this year with no increase in health insurance. The town is part of the Berkshire Health Group, which voted last week to keep premiums the same.
Town Manager Paul Sieloff wants to put more money toward road maintenance.
The town's budgeting process will start in earnest in two weeks with a meeting with the Police, Highway, and Fire Department heads to discuss needs in the next budget. Sieloff said he is looking to double the amount the town spends on road repairs if possible.
Town meeting voted to increase the budget by $48,000 to add a second kindergarten class.
On the town meeting floor resident Jodi Szczepaniak-Locke motioned for the additional funds to hire a second kindergarten teacher without having to find those funds elsewhere in the school budget. The school budget was proposed to be level-funded for the third consecutive year. But that proposal was based on an early estimate of have 16 kindergarteners, for one class. Since then, the number expected has j
The Selectmen are opposing adding a parking lot and amphitheater to the Mount Greylock building project.
The Mount Greylock Building Committee says the project been trending under budget, with both bids and interest rates coming in low. The committee is considering using some of that expected savings on both a parking lot renovation and the construction of an outdoor amphitheater, two projects which had previously been pulled from the project to trim the budget.
The Finance Committee approved its version of the budget on Monday, but that board's decision to cut close to $50,000 from health insurance lines has the town manager concerned.
"I really am concerned about the amount of money being cut out of health insurance," Town Manager Paul Sieloff said. "It is an unnecessary risk."
own Manager Paul Sieloff's capital plan for 2018 calls for the purchase of two vehicles.
Sieloff said the plan originally called for just the purchase of a new back hoe for the Highway Department but last week the town's grader failed. The 1986 Dresser grader was on the capital plan to be replaced in 2019 at a cost of $260,000 and will now be pushed into the fiscal 2018 year. That is coupled with a $115,000 replacement to the 1997 John Deere backhoe in the Highway Department.
Finance Committee member Ronald Tinkham wants to know how many hours are spent mowing the lawns at the elementary school and says New Ashford should pay for a portion of that too.
The School Committee adopted a policy which sets tuition costs at the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education calculated per pupil cost. The move is in response to the Board of Selectmen urging for sharp increases in the tuition rates. When the new rates go into effect, it will essentially double th
Town Manager Paul Sieloff has proposed an $11.4 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
The budget is $196,635 more than last year, and that is mostly driven by the costs for the Mount Greylock Middle and High School building project. Sieloff had actually penciled in an increase of $154,576 for the Mount Greylock budget for the capital project but the preliminary district budget shows only a 92,489 increase.
The Finance Committee chairman is peeved with Mount Greylock Regional High School for canceling a meeting to discuss the budget.
The committee met on Monday with an agenda that included meeting with the Mount Greylock Regional High School Committee to discuss the proposed budget. However, after a testy meeting last week, another meeting to attend on Monday, and a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Mount Greylock officials opted to cancel their appearance with the Finance Committee.
The town is expected to see a decrease in health insurance for the coming year after Berkshire Health Group made changes to the plans.
The joint purchasing group has opted to eliminate one health insurance option and instead move to a deductible plan. Town Manager Paul Sieloff said the difference in prices between the two plans adds up to some $13,000.
The Selectmen have asked Town Manager Paul Sieloff to back out all salary increases in his preliminary budget.
Sieloff walked the board through parts of his preliminary budget Monday night. The Selectmen asked him to take out all 2 percent increases for nonunion employees.
Budget preparations have begun and Town Manager Paul Sieloff is hoping to keep tax increases to 1.5 percent.
Sieloff said nearly all department heads have returned budget requests and he has crafted a draft budget. He said he's factored in an expected drop in assessed values and the increased cost for the Mount Greylock renovation and new build project and from there, he is hoping to have a budget that increases taxes by 1.5 percent - a small amount compared to previous years.