Shrewsbury Budget May See Little Change

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Shrewsbury Town Manager Daniel J. Morgado speaks about the budget earlier this month. Photo Credit: John Swinconeck (file photo)

SHREWSBURY, Mass. — Between Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposed state aid package for Shrewsbury, and Town Manager Daniel J. Morgado's recommendations, the fiscal year 2014 budgets in Shrewsbury look a lot like fiscal year 2013.

The governor is recommending Shrewsbury receive more than $21 million in state aid::

  • Almost $18.9 million in state aid to education -- also known as Chapter 70, a slight increase of about $150,000 from this year;
  • More than $2.3 million in unrestricted general government aid, about the same as fiscal year 2013 levels;
  • $121,300 in local aid.

Morgado said he is waiting for the state’s House Ways and Means Committee to issue its report, before incorporating state aid in Shrewsbury budgets.

The town manager’s total recommended budget is more than $99.9 million, about $1.7 million more than the current fiscal year, however many departments will not get increases in funding they have requested.

The school department wants more than $54 million, a $4.4 million increase -- or nearly 9 percent more -- than this year. The town manager is recommending a $50 million budget for the schools, an increase of only $355,000.

In all, departments have requested a $103 million budget. Many departments, including fire and police, are requesting additional staff, but it's doubtful that will come to fruition.

“Would I like to improve staffing levels? Yes,” Morgado said in an interview Tuesday, but added that the town is still grappling with the population explosion of the 1990s wherein the demand for town services has since outstripped revenue sources.

In 1990, the town's population was a little more than 24,000. That increased 31 percent in 2000 to more than 31,640. In 2010, the population stood at about 35,600, an additional 12.5 percent increase.

“It'll be about another five to ten years before we will be able to wrap our arms around the increased population of the town,” Morgado said.

Town Meeting will be held on May 20, where Town Meeting Representatives will have the final say on the budget.

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