What's up in Town Administration?
Fiscal Year 2021 Budget
We are well underway with budget development for FY 2021. We finalized our recommendations for presentation to the Board at its December 11, 2019 meeting. We have more expense requests from the Town and School than we do projected revenue. Our budgetary focus is to address initiatives contained in the Select Board’s Strategic Plan. It is always very challenging to narrow our recommendations within projected revenue, considering that – for the most part - the requests from Town and School departments address numerous programmatic, infrastructure, Strategic Plan and operational needs. While revenue projections are strong, between the need for a growing subsidy for Our Island Home* and the cost of year-round NRTA shuttle service** there is not much room within the levy limit for new or expanded programming.
*our FY 2021 Budget Message contains a narrative and information as to the need for additional funding from the General Fund to fund the operation of Our Island Home. In a nutshell, OIH’s ability to generate revenue is limited, state and federal reimbursements do not cover costs, expenses of the facility are increasing, and we are having to dedicate more and more Town revenue to OIH.
**the additional cost for NRTA year-round shuttle service (which started in 2018) is enacted through a charge on the Cherry Sheet, which is a list of items that the state “charges” the Town for; and, a list of items for which the Town receives revenue from the state. Much of the revenue received is called Chapter 70 funds, which is aid for schools. The cost of the NRTA service “hits” the Cherry Sheet in FY 2021. That charge is expected to be approximately $436,000 (up from about $418,000 in FY 2020).
Beginning in January, the Finance Committee begins its review of the proposed budget and finalizes its recommendations for Town Meeting by early March. All the meetings at which the budget is discussed are public.
2020 Annual Town Meeting
Click here for a link to the current timeline for the 2020 ATM. The Board has had preliminary discussions about potential articles for the Town Meeting; Town Counsel has held office hours for citizens interested in submitting their own articles; and 53 citizen warrant articles have been submitted. Typically, between 20 and 30 citizen articles are submitted. During December, the Board will continue discussing Board-sponsored warrant articles. The Board is scheduled to adopt the warrant on January 22, 2020.
The Capital Program Committee is working on its recommendations to update the Capital Improvement Plan and prepare recommendations for FY 2021 capital projects. The Committee has been meeting weekly for several weeks and will continue to meet into December as it develops its recommendations.
Highlights of upcoming Select Board meetings:
- Review conditions and requirements for a pilot bike-share program for 2020 (tonight)
- Approval of annual license renewals (tonight)
- Presentation of feasibility study current underway for a new Senior Center (Jan 8)
- Appointment to fill a vacancy on the Conservation Commission (Jan 8 – applications currently being accepted)
Thank you to all the Town employees, and Town officials who contribute their time to the operation of the Town. Happy holidays to everyone!
Island-Wide Efforts to Protect Nantucket’s Ecosystem
We thank all who donated gifts from the Town’s Giving Tree in support of A Safe Place!
Would you ride a free summer commuter shuttle from mid-island to downtown?