Town leaders gather at the front of Town Meeting May 5.

Town Meeting voters approved a $113,654,734 operating budget to fund schools and town services for the fiscal year that begins July 1 in a one-night session on May 6. A handful of items that had been removed from the budget were restored, including $20,000 that would allow Milton Public Library to maintain its Sunday hours, and about $55,000 for schools.

Town officials said the total budget reaches $126,323,510 when the town’s enterprise funds are factored in. They include funds for water, sewer and stormwater, which generally pay for themselves through fees.

Town Meeting also recognized Assistant Superintendent Janet Sheehan and Town Counsel John Flynn, both of whom will be retiring this spring.

Voters also agreed to set aside an additional $97,000 for solid waste disposal costs that are expected to escalate, and approved funding for a trash barrel rollout program.

The voters also referred back to the Select Board an article that would have allowed the town to further diversify its investment options after the article was challenged for not being broad enough.

They also heard that a sought after significant private donation for the rehabilitation of the Central Fire Station will not be forthcoming.

The budget figures were arrived at after months of struggling with increased costs that included a 16.8 percent jump projected for employee health insurance costs.

A $2.8 million budget gap was closed in the last hours before the Town Meeting warrant was printed. An additional $97,000 in state aid that was announced in the House Committee on Ways and Means proposed budget after the warrant’s printing was factored in on supplemental green sheets available at Town Meeting.

The full additional amount went toward the Department of Public Works (DPW) budget for trash and recycling services, and other funds were shifted around in late budget deliberations among town officials and the School Committee Finance Subcommittee, and the Select Board Finance Committee.

For the full story, read the May 9, 2019, issue of the Milton Times in print or on line.

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