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Ways and Means Committee OKs city budget without additional school money

  • The Greenfield Town Hall Recorder File Photo/Paul Franz

  • Students and families arrive to tour th enew portions of the Greenfield High School during an open house on Monday evening. Recorder/Paul Franz Recorder Staff/Paul Franz



Recorder Staff
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

GREENFIELD — No additional money has been put in the city’s school budget — yet.

City Council’s Ways and Means Committee voted in favor of Mayor William Martin’s proposed budget Tuesday. The approval comes without more money being given to the school department, in spite of the School Committee’s decision to ask for $400,000 more last week.

The approved city budget for next year totals $48,810,304 and is $646,300 more than this year’s budget, or a 1.34 percent increase. The budget would increase the tax rate from $22.43 to $22.72 per $1,000.

Chairwoman Ashli Stempel and committee members Vern Sund and Douglas Mayo voted in favor of the budget. Brickett Allis abstained from voting. Committee member Wanda Pyfrom was not present in time for the vote.

Stempel said a request for $400,000 from the School Committee was expected but had not been received by the time the Ways and Means Committee met on Tuesday, so money was not moved to the school department budget.

The School Committee voted last week to request the money. School board members said the money will make certain the school department will not have to cut services when the budget is approved.

Martin’s budget has an increase of $170,180 for Greenfield public schools, which is significantly lower than the School Committee’s proposed increase of $828,956.

Cuts proposed by Ways and Means Committee member Brickett Allis and City Councilor Isaac Mass were not discussed because the proposals were submitted late.

Stempel said the committee has a rule that any items to be discussed must be given to the committee at least five days before it meets, which wasn’t done with either the cuts or the School Committee request.

Allis said he would bring the proposed cuts to City Council during next week’s budget meeting.

City Council is expected to vote on the budget next Wednesday, May 23.

You can reach Dan Desrochers at:

ddesrochers@recorder.com

413-772-0261, ext. 257