Braintree officials this week will request almost $100,000 in line item transfers from the Town Council, as several departments are coming in over budget this fiscal year.
According to a memo sent to town councilors, which members will review and vote on at their Jan. 3 meeting, Braintree officials are hoping to see a transfer of $40,000 from the Finance Department to Insurance General; $15,000 from the Finance Department to Highway – Tree Removal; $11,500 from Finance to Highway – Leaf mulch expenses; and $31,000 from finance to Highway – overtime.
The first transfer is to accommodate for insufficient funds to cover the town’s total insurance costs.
“Several reasons for the additional funds include insurance for the former Norfolk County property and buildings that the Town purchased last year and also the Allen Street property that was turned over to the Town from BELD,” Chief of Operations and Staff Peter Morin detailed to councilors.
The original budget request did not include these items, Morin said.
Hurricane Irene also did a number on the town’s budget, specifically in the Public Works Department.
Tree removal, leaf mulch expenses, and the high overtime depleted these three city accounts for the year, Morin said.
“The amounts requested by the department are what it is estimated to cover the departments needs for the balance of a normal year,” Morin wrote in the memo. "Please note that Norfolk County was declared a federal emergency area for this storm and accordingly we are preparing a FEMA grant application to reimburse the Town for up to 75% of eligible storm related costs."
According to Morin, the likelihood that the town will receive reimbursement is strong.
"We’ve been reimbursed for these type of expenditures in the past with the floods and last year's snow. So we’ve had preliminary discussions, we have the paperwork ready, and we anticipate we’ll get the reimbursement some time in the fiscal year," he said.
Furthermore, Morin said these are merely housekeeping items and nothing to be worried about. The account the money will come from is also typically used for unanticipated costs, and thus will have no negative impact on the town.
Councilors will host a public hearing on each of the line item transfers at their meeting on Jan. 3, since these requests involve the re-appropriation of funds within the budget for fiscal 2011, which began July 1.
The public hearing is set for the 6:30 p.m. Town Council meeting, which will be held at the Cahill Auditorium in Braintree Town Hall.
Councilors will also be discussing several National Grid petitions and two notices of appointment to the Lottery Committee.