Thursday night the Cohasset Budget Planning Group reviewed current town department deficits in preparation of forecasting the 2013 fiscal budget. Overtime has been shrinking the available funds for the police and fire department, as well as the DPW.
According to Chair Peter Pescatore, these three departments have spent 60% or more of their annual budget within the first five months, “For overtime, it’s been endemic for police and fire overtime because of the staffing. It’s a problem for all small towns.”
Chair Pescatore stated that because the police department has three open positions, current employees have to work more time to cover shifts. He also recognized that future snowfall could increase overtime costs, especially for the DPW.
The group also discussed how the town will be overspent because some town departments have already exceeded their annual budget for the current fiscal year. Chair Pescatore stated that 99.4% of the engineering service budget has already been spent.
However he believes that the town could be in a worse financial position, “All though we don’t want to add additional debt, we still have room in our debt ceiling to add on some debt, to borrow additional money. We’re trying to be very cautious about any huge projects.”
Chair Pescatore stated that the committee is trying to reign in town spending as much as possible. The Cohasset Budget Planning Group voted to recommend to the Board of Selectmen a 0% increase in labor costs for negotiated contracts.