Lincoln voters pass 2019 budget at swift FTM

Lincoln voters pass 2019 budget at swift FTM

Robert Turner Jr., left, moderator, and Carl Brunetti, chairman of the Budget Board, speak at Lincoln’s Financial Town Meeting on Monday night. (Breeze photos by Nicole Dotzenrod)

LINCOLN – A crowd of roughly 150 taxpayers voted to approve a 1.12 percent tax levy increase at Monday night’s 123rd Financial Town Meeting.

Voters approved a total fiscal 2019 budget of $81,012,649, an increase of $895,900 over last year’s budget of $80,116,749.

There were no objections whatsoever at this year’s meeting. Town Administrator Joseph Almond said it was probably the shortest Financial Town Meeting he has ever attended.

“I would describe it as unusual. … I’ve never seen one like this. It was likely the most straightforward budget process I’ve experienced,” he said, adding that he hopes those who showed up were satisfied with the budget presented to them.

Preliminary estimates of the new tax rates are $22.12 per thousand dollars of value for residential real estate, $26.99 for commercial, and $34.74 for personal property, marking a 22-cent increase for residential, 27-cent increase for commercial, and a 35-cent increase for personal property.

While it is too early to tell whether there will be a tax increase, Almond said if there was an increase, it would be “minor at best.”

The bottom-line budget figure includes a municipal budget of $21,830,410 for 2019, an increase of $366,426, or 1.71 percent.

It also includes $41,786,267 in town funding for education put toward a total 2019 school budget of $54,615,601.

Attendees of the meeting unanimously voted to approve $922,000 in education and $589,000 in municipal capital resolutions.

Capital expenditure resolutions total $922,000 for repairs to communication systems at four schools, a new roof for Central Elementary School, and an energy management system at Lonsdale Elementary School.

Approved municipal resolutions include:

• Lonsdale Rescue Station refurbishment: $15,000

• Lonsdale Rescue Station roof repair: $25,000

• Chase Farm House roof repair: $17,000

• Back-up generator for town highway garage: $20,000

• Animal shelter, phase II architectural renovation design: $31,000

• Two power lift stretchers for rescue vehicles: $33,000

• Truck and plow for Department of Pubic Works: $57,000

• Dump truck: $180,000

• Facilities van: $30,000

• Senior Center Bus: $81,000

• Fairlawn Park/Playground: $100,000, supplemented by a state grant of $400,000

Also at the meeting, Budget Board Moderator Robert Turner Jr., as well as members Paul Deutsch and Michael Babbitt, were approved to serve another term on the board.

Almond told The Breeze, “The Budget Board did a really good job. I appreciate the work of the Budget Board to look from all sides – taxpayer, education and municipal – and find a balance, and I think it’s a system that still works.”

Roughly 150 people attended Monday night’s Financial Town Meeting held at Lincoln High School to vote on next year’s municipal and education budgets.