By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer
(May 23, 2019) When Berlin town government’s departments put the knife to their budgets in the last few weeks, they apparently didn’t miss much, judging from the $15.6 million budget for fiscal year 2020 town officials reviewed last Monday.
The proposed budget was reduced by 15 percent, or $2.6 million, from the fiscal year 2019 $18.2 million budget. The police, economic development and parks and recreation departments were among the many operations that showed budget decreases.
The budget for the town’s police department dropped by 11.02 percent, according to budget reports. About $2 million was approved for the 2018-19 fiscal year budget, and about $1.8 million was introduced for the fiscal year 2020 budget.
The economic development department showed an 18.24 percent decrease, falling from about $320,000 in the 2018-19 fiscal year budget to about $262,000 in the budget year ahead.
The parks and recreation budget for the fiscal year 2020 budget was set at roughly $63,000, according to budget reports. That’s a 36.84 percent decrease from the roughly $100,000 approved for the 2018-19 fiscal year budget.
At the same time, however, some administrative departments showed increases for the fiscal year 2020 budget.
The administration budget for fiscal year 2020 increased by 20.89 percent, or roughly $335,000, according to budget reports. The department received $1.6 million for the 2018-19 fiscal year budget but about $1.9 million was introduced for next year.
Fire and emergency medical services officials previously requested $909,000 in total funding for next year’s budget during an April 1 Town Council meeting.
The department had $605,000 in operating allocations approved for the fiscal year 2018-19 budget and nearly $545,000 was introduced in the upcoming budget, according to budget reports.
The electric, water and sewer departments also included contingencies as line items in the budget.
The electric administration had a 16.24 percent increase, with nearly $1.6 million introduced for the fiscal year 2020 budget, according to budget reports. There was about $1.35 million approved for the fiscal year 2018-19 budget.
Budget reports show a 1,813.13 percent increase in the department’s contingency rate. It was roughly $12,000 in fiscal year 2018-19, and nearly $231,000 is being introduced for fiscal year 2020.
The water administration’s introduced budget for fiscal year 2020 was 7.04 percent higher, or nearly $443,000, according to budget reports. The increase was roughly $29,000 more from the approximate $413,000 approved for the fiscal year 2018-19 budget.
There was also a 532.30 percent increase for a contingency line item in the proposed fiscal year 2020 budget, according to reports. Nearly $91,000 was introduced, while about $14,000 was approved for the fiscal year 2018- 19 budget.
The sewer administration also had a 5.75 percent increase to the budget, according to reports. There was nearly $1.3 million introduced for fiscal year 2020 while $1.2 million was approved.
A nearly $44,000 contingency line item also contributed to the budget’s increase, reports show. There was an 81.82 percent increase from the roughly 24,000 in last year’s fiscal year budget.
The property tax rate for the fiscal year 2020 budget was also was set during last week’s meeting at $.80 per $100 of assessed value.
A public hearing for the fiscal year 2020 budget and its adoption is scheduled for June 10 at Town Hall on William Street.