Published in the February 15, 2016 edition.
By MARK SARDELLA
WAKEFIELD — With the approval of six more FY 2017 departmental budgets, the Board of Selectmen has reviewed and approved the budgets of most Town Hall Departments. All budgets are also scrutinized by the Finance Committee before facing Annual Town Meeting in May.
Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio pointed out that most
departments have held to a
2 percent increase. Exceptions include the Town Clerk’s and the Election budget. The larger increase in the Town Clerk’s budget is due to the funding of the Town Clerk’s position, which was not funded last year due to a retirement. The Election budget increase reflects the cost of the presidential election in FY 2017.
Town Accountant Kevin Gill presented each budget, beginning with the Selectmen’s Department budget of $403,477. Gill said that a $20,975 increase in this budget was entirely in the personal services area and covered contractually negotiated salary increases. I addition, Gill said that the increase an adjustment in the hours of the department’s administrative assistant from 35 to 40 hours a week.
The board approved the budget.
The selectmen approved the $374,125 Accounting Department budget, which included a $13,303 increase over last year, mainly in the area of negotiated salary increases.
Gill said that the Planning Board budget was up $1,800, all of it in personal services. He said that the increase reflects an effort to bring the board clerk’s salary in line with that of other board’s clerks. The selectmen approved the total Planning Board budget of $12,975.
The selectmen approved the $205,367 Board of Health budget, which included an increase of $11,389. Maio recognized the Health Department as an early regionalization success story with Melrose and commended the department and Director Ruth Clay for “bringing the town to new heights” in the areas of restaurant safety, substance abuse prevention and mental health resources.
He also praised Clay for bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant-funded programs to the town.
The board approved the Recreation Department budget at $84,547, which included an increase of $2,485. Gill pointed out that the Recreation Department is a revenue generating department, bringing in about $35,000 annually in recreation fees. Maio praised Recreation Director Dan McGrath for pursuing a collaboration with the schools to provide programs there.
The $255,787 Veterans Services budget included a decrease of $6,826. Gill explained that the decrease was in the area of direct payments to veterans, based on projected needs. The selectmen approved the budget. (Selectman Betsy Sheeran abstained from voting on the Veterans Department budget.)
In other business this week, the Board of Selectmen:
• Approved a request from Town Treasurer John McCarthy to transfer $158,162 from the town’s Capital Projects Account to the General Fund in order to make bond payments.
• Approved a request from the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library to accept and expend $1,835 in gifts from various donors.
• Approved a 30-day liquor license from April 12 to May 12 for the Wakefield-Lynnfield Chamber of Commerce for Blossoms at the Beebe on April 30. (The 30-day period covers acquiring the stock before the event and returning unused stock after the event.)
• Approved a Taxicab License and a Driver of a Taxicab License for Mohy Abrahem, with a business address of 580 Salem Street, Wakefield.
• Approved a Common Victualler’s License and an Entertainment License (CD player) for “Rooster Thai and Convenience” at 1117 Main Street in Greenwood.
• Approved a Common Victualler’s License and an Entertainment License (TV) for Marc Beinnestin and Enide Vilceus for Au Bon Bout Restaurant at 466 Main St. (former location of Ristorante Molise).
• Appointed Michael J. Delory of 272 Albion St. as a poll worker at Precinct 6.
• Appointed Susan Donaher of 4 Holland Rd. as a Precinct 2 poll worker.
• Appointed Judith A. Wallace as Warden of Precinct 6.
• Appointed Paul Flores as the fill-in Plumbing Inspector.