Thursday night, the Plymouth County Advisory Board approved a $9.4 million budget–exactly one month before the next fiscal year starts. But the revenue projections for 2013 saw a slight difference with two new sources, a few increases, and some decreases.
The county’s parking ticket program to process fines for other towns will now be processing parking violations for more than twenty MBTA lots and, according to County Treasurer Tom O’Brien, their share from the partnership could raise ticket fee revenue from $85,000 to anywhere from $200,000 to $500,000.
“It’s actually going to be 20% of every violation and the cost of each violation varies. So it’s going to average about a dollar per violation and you can imagine how many violations there are at the MBTA parking lots,” stated O’Brien.
Treasurer O’Brien further stated the MBTA has asked them to help collect about $2 million in backlog and the county will receive a percentage of any allocated funds.
But though the county is trying to find additional revenue sources, over the past five years the budget has gradually decreased by $500,000 dollars, with County Treasurer Tom O’Brien stating they’ve “done more with less.”
Advisory Board Chair Ellen Allen from Norwell explained departments have suffered cutbacks including the Registry of Deeds who lost four employees, “It’s just been so tight on the revenue side that they’ve had no choice but to cut expenses. The revenues weren’t there. You know there was a lot of reduction at the Registry of Deeds, a lot fewer people doing the same amount of work there.”
But a Middleboro Selectman suggested that revenue could increase if the Plymouth County Commissioners re-negotiated rent for four properties: the Administrative building, Brockton District Court, Registry of Deeds, and the District Attorney building.
The rest of the Advisory Board agreed and also suggested additional revenue should be given to the deeds office to hire a full staff.
They gave the Plymouth County Commissioners a three-month time frame to respond to their bargaining request.