GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Greenfield Mayor, Roxann Wedegartner has submitted the 2024 fiscal year budget proposal to the City Council which seeks to maintain services amid inflation and declining state education aid, according to a press release sent to 22News from the Mayor’s office.
The 2024 budget, a $61.6 million package is an increase of nearly 6.5 percent in spending compared to the current year’s operating budget of $57.9 million, including reductions across departments to mitigate increase in costs of goods and services, and supporting salary and wage increases for city employees.
“Because we were obligated by law to present a balanced budget, this budget already contains significant reductions from the funding requests submitted by City departments last fall. The proposed increase over the current budget is driven largely by contractual wage and salary obligations, the need to retain high quality department heads and supervisory staff, and increased costs for certain contracted services,” said Mayor Wedegartner. “We focused on a shared common purpose of providing a balanced City budget that realistically maintains services and programs while confronting pressures that are beyond our control, ranging from stubborn inflation to reduced enrollment in Greenfield Public Schools, which caused a reduction in overall state aid to schools. State aid to the City was also reduced, or stayed static in some cases.”
There has been less education aid given from the Commonwealth due to an enrollment decrease in Greenfield Public Schools by 158 students this year. Nearly 37% of the proposed budget accounts for education appropriations, 31% for general government appropriations, and the remaining 32% for City and School Department employee benefits, debt service, and property and liability insurance.
“This is another tough budget year. The decline in school enrollment and rising costs for goods and services along with rising costs in health insurance for our employees and retirees are contributing factors in this budget. Nevertheless, I submit this spending plan with some sense of optimism,” added Mayor Wedegartner. “Although off to a slow start, local receipts continue to rebound from the lows of the pandemic, we have been able to secure millions in state grants to plan for the future, and by this time next year we will have opened a new library, fire station and skate park—all while continuing to prepare for the upcoming downtown revitalization project.”
The Mayor’s complete budget proposal is available to view here.