With limited drama, the Attleboro City Council on Monday approved a $125.7 million spending plan for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which begins July 1. This includes $110.2 million for the general government budget (2.11 percent increase from 2011-12), $6.3 million for water service (2.32 percent decrease) and $9.2 million for wastewater service (2.38 percent decrease).
The vote on the general government budget was 10-1, with Councilor Richard Conti dissenting (go here to read his explanation). The wastewater budget was approved unanimously and the council voted 9-1-1 (Conti against, Peter Blais abstaining) on the water service plan.
The water and wastewater financial plans are known as enterprise fund budgets, and operate separately from the general government budget. Money cannot be transferred from the enterprise funds to the general government budget.
The council cut just $13,705 from the budget proposed earlier this month by Mayor Kevin Dumas. However, the government panel raised some concerns and shared other views in its budget message, which is attached to this article.
"While there are some things in this budget that I don't like, overall it is a very tight budget," said Councilor Brian Kirby, who chairs the Budget and Appropriations Committee.
Residents will be hit with a water fee increase of 26 cents per 100 cubic feet. This was approved by a 7-4 vote (dissenting votes came from Conti, Sara-Lynn Reynolds, Mark Cooper and Shannon Heagney). Dumas said earlier this month that this was needed to maintain a balanced budget.
The trash pick-up rate will also go up $5.68 to $184. Fees for city trash bags, which residents need to purchase if they go beyond the one-barrel limit, will increase 50 cents to $2. The Health Department proposed the bag cost increase in an effort to encourage recycling. This will be the first time in four years that the price of trash service will go up.
Conti voted against the trash fee hikes.