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Mayor issues freeze on discretionary spending

Due to possible cut in state aid, Martin wants to tighten belt

GREENFIELD — The mayor has issued a discretionary spending freeze on all departments until he finds out exactly how much state aid may be cut mid year, but he said Thursday that it shouldn’t affect services to residents or involve any layoffs.

Mayor William Martin said the governor has announced that state revenues are lower than they were expected to be at this point in the year and that means there will be mid-year cuts in aid promised cities and towns at the beginning of the fiscal year to close a $540 million budget gap.

“We don’t know what our number is yet, but according to our calculations, it could be $27,000 or more that Greenfield could end up not seeing,” said the mayor. The town’s overall spending for the year that ends June 30 was projected to be about $43 million.

Martin said because of the uncertainty at this time, he has issued the following to all town departments, as well as the schools:

∎ All purchases above $500 will require a purchase order and approval from Elizabeth Braccia, the town’s accountant, and Marjorie Lane Kelly, the town’s director of finance.

∎ All purchase orders for more than $2,000 will require the mayor’s approval.

∎ Braccia will set up an electronic approval system to facilitate the above requirements and all purchase orders will have to be forwarded to the town’s accountant with a copy of quotes or sales orders.

Martin said all unnecessary spending will be frozen until notification of how much state aid will be reduced.

The mayor said he doesn’t expect any services will be cut.

“It’s all a big ‘we don’t know’ at this point, though,” said Martin.

He said the cuts won’t affect the town’s plans to build a new high school or buy the former Lunt Silversmith property.

“The money, whatever the shortfall ends up being, will come out of each department’s budget, so we only want them spending on necessities until we find out,” said Martin.

He said he hopes to know what the amount of the state aid cut will be by the end of the year.

“Then, we’ll have a better idea of where we’re headed,” he said.

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