NORTH READING – After three months of careful pruning of the town’s fiscal 2016 budget, the general government side of the ledger is balanced at $14 million, up just $78,000 from the current year’s spending plan.

The good news is, there’s even a slight amount of money left over, about $77,000, to devote to a number of initiatives the Selectmen may want to accomplish next year. The bad news is pretty similar to what happens every year: the list of initiatives is long and the supply of cash is short.

First the good news: Finance Director Liz Rourke told the Selectmen recently that fiscal 2016 revenue plan has been adjusted to reflect the modest increases in state aid to education and general government included in Governor Charlie Baker’s proposed budget. Rourke said these funds have been directly offset to the school department.

An important factor in next year’s budget is a projected 4.9 percent increase in the town’s health insurance costs, from $18.8 million to $19.7 million. After deducting for fixed costs, the budget is split 66-34 percent between general government and schools, ($27.2 million vs. $14 million), with a total of $85,000 in unfunded budget requests in Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto’s proposed budget.

Gilleberto also said there is a need for additional Human Resources capacity in town hall. And the Parks and Recreation Department recently requested that the town once again assume funding of the Recreation Director’s salary of $59,586. So it’s clear that with about $77,000 to work with, the Selectmen won’t be able to satisfy every need.

Selectmen Chairman Robert Mauceri said it will be up to the Board to take the requests, understand them and rank them in order of importance.

The list of items includes the $85,000 mentioned previously: $50,000 for merit pay increases, $12,000 to bring the facilities manager position back to a full time employee and a $23,000 differential to make an IT position full time. Gilleberto estimated the HR position would be around $80,000 and the Parks and Recreation request is also unaccounted for, bringing the total number to over $200,000.

Voters at the June 1 Town Meeting will also be asked to pony up the cash to fund a deficit of $881,252 in the snow and ice budget, a painful reminder of the winter of 2015. Funding of the deficit comes from several budget sources, including Tax Recap, Overlay Surplus and Free Cash.

Most of the articles on the Town Meeting warrant have no financial impact but Article 22 will request funds to treat the invasive Milfoil epidemic at Martins Pond. This is expected to cost $91,375 over five years.

Stephen O’Leary said he’d like to see the program funded “up front” because that will result in the flexibility to adjust the program and eliminate the need to go back to Town Meeting every June for five years to approve the money.