Town budget meetings start next week

Town budget meetings start next week

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Deliberations on Mayor Charles Lombardi’s proposed “extremely lean” $111.88 million budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year begin next Tuesday, May 21, with a public hearing starting at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.

That hearing will be followed by an all-day budget session starting on May 23 starting at 9 a.m., a council work session on May 29 at 5:30 p.m., a final budget hearing on June 27 at 5:30 p.m., and adoption of the budget on July 1 at 5:30 p.m.

Owners of residential and commercial properties in town would see a 90-cent increase on local tax rates under Lombardi’s proposal.
The main driver in needing a tax increase is the $8.1 million first payment on a $75 million school bond, says the mayor. Without that, the town would have seen a tax decrease this year.

The owner of a home with a value of $200,000 is expected to see taxes go up by about $144 annually under the initial proposal, but the Town Council will be going through the spending plan line by line and could be making some cuts.

The original projection on the school bond was that it could make taxes go up by $1.37 on the tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value, said Lombardi as he presented his plan to the council on May 7, so this is a “very responsible spending plan for the coming year.”

Officials “sharpened our pencil” and cut where they could, he said.

Additional revenues from such venues as Camp Meehan and the Mancini Senior Center are helping, he said, and the town continues to see extensive business development.
The town is preserving open space, investing in schools, improving recreational programs with new priorities, and resurfacing roads.

Lombardi said he looks forward to meeting with the council during the all-day session. Though he hopes the council will accept the budget, the administration will accept changes made.