Carver: Town facing budget challenges & potential lay-offs

According to Carver Town Administrator Michael Milanoski, the town  is facing several challenges and obstacles while trying to complete the FY15 budget, which is to be put before the voters at Town Meeting in June.

Milanoski said that the projected revenues do not cover the known expenses for the budget. He added that they will need to go down four “avenues” to try and solve the problems.

“The first one is to reduce some positions,” Milanoski said, “The second is to reduce the hours of some positions, the third being the reorganization [of departments], and the fourth, on the other side of the ledger…where some fees need to be raised.”

Milanoski addressed the current status of all four of those actions being taken by the town. He said that the Board of Selectmen will be discussing and voting on raising permit fees at their meeting Tuesday night.

“The areas that we’re primarily looking at is in the building fees for the building department,” Milanoski said, “In some of our analysis with other towns, we find that Carver is significantly lower in the fees for these additional services.”

Milanoski added that such fees are additional user fees, and require additional amounts of services for the town.

Milanoski also acknowledged the potential lay-offs in town. He said the school had originally released a number of 24 lay-offs, and that is now down to around 10.

Milanoski said that he does not feel comfortable yet releasing information on what positions will be cut on the town side until he can “scrub the budget down to the last penny.”

“I just want to be very responsible in how we go about doing this because this does affect people’s lives,” Milanoski said.

Milanoski recognized that although some positions will be cut, there will be two new positions worked into the budget for the Police Department to hire a Detective and a  Resource Officer, a step to combat the drug problem in town.

According to Milanoski, there are three  proposed department reorganizations. The first is to merge the DPW and the town facilities department into one town-wide infrastructure department.

“We’re looking to reduce the duplication of services that exist in some town departments by putting those into one larger community-wide department that will take care of all of the town assets,” Milanoski said.

Other proposed reorganization includes cross-training administration to give better customer service to the town, and implementing a town-wide computer infrastructure department.

Milanoski said the proposed reorganizations require impact bargaining, and he is hoping to resolve some of that within the next few weeks.

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About Samantha Tracey

Samantha Tracey graduated from Salem State University in 2013 with a degree in Journalism. She has been reporting on local issues in a variety of towns: Bridgewater, Abington, Carver, Weymouth, East Bridgewater, Hanson, Halifax, etc. She says growing up on the South Shore has made it interesting now to be covering news in such familiar places.