Town employees to see an increase in base salaries.
Little changed in the Town of Franklin’s annual budget at last Tuesday’s budget workshop, held by town officials.
In a handout of the 2012-13 fiscal year’s proposed budget, Town Manager Sam Greenwood noted that this year’s budget “continues to reflect the effects of the most disordered economic conditions in memory.”
Greenwood added in the document that attempts at economic forecasts on the state and federal levels were “little better than guessing,” and cautioned about the prospect of weak economic recovery.
The proposed flat budget for the fiscal year 2012-13 does not include an increase in the current 25 cent per $100 valuation tax rate— in other words, tax rates shall remain the same for Franklin residents.
According to Greenwood, the proposed budget considers issues of slowed economic recovery of key revenue sources — such as sales tax and interest on investments—and provides for small incremental steps toward base salaries in town employment positions, that of .02 percent.
Employee benefits and all other operating capital, he noted, were currently reduced at a minimum of five percent, adding that the overall goal was to improve the town’s fund balance and reserve funds—with a general fund reduction of $342,000 and water and sewer fund reduction of $245,500—due largely to lower town revenues and slowed economic recovery.
Greenwood reported that along with a slowed recovery of revenue for Franklin, his proposed budget allows for some increase in base salary for town employees.
“It will be more competitive,” he said. “The salary base for all entry levels will be shifted upward.”
Even the capital equipment funding will be slowed, though most other expenditures are proposed to remain as they were in previous years. Two vehicles on the Franklin Police Department’s force are in need of replacement, after exceeding 100,000 engine miles. A halfton water replacement truck and a town maintenance leaf box are also in need of upgrade.
There were only two points of concern on the budget proposal; that of the money allotted for non-profit grant monies and that of funding for asbestos mitigation at the town-acquired “Whitmire Property” located on Highlands Road. The former being raised from the proposed $30,000 to $40,000, and the latter being sought in the amount of $17,000 for deconstruction purposes.
The total proposed budget of $8,387,000 compared to $8,317,500 from last year, for 2013, includes approximately $1.44 million in revenue appropriated from the Town’s fund balance. There was little discussion of the proposed budget at the meeting, which was approved with the provided revisions. The board will hold a public discussion of the budget at its Town Hall meeting on Monday at 7 p.m.