Budget Forecast Sees Modest Jump

Town Administrator Richard LaCamera presented the Budget Projections for Fiscal Year 2015, saying that the town would have about $450,000 more to spend than it did for 2014, though he said that wouldn’t go very far in the grand scheme of things.

“It doesn’t go a long way,” he said. “We’re not going to have much more to spend than we did last year.”

LaCamera said he made conservative estimates using numbers from the past four years for things like state aid, excise taxes, and local receipts, adding that he didn’t foresee any big jumps in revenue from any of those categories.

He said that the overall budget for the town was about $18 million, and that the increase in funding came from tax revenue from permits from upward of 10 construction projects, as well as $40,000 in revenue from the New Bedford Waterworks solar project, among other sources of revenue.

The Selectmen also signed off on an application for a Community Innovative Challenge grant, which is being filed in conjunction with Marion and Mattapoisett, for the purchase of a vacuum truck to be used by all three towns.

The truck, which is estimated to cost around $370,000, would be used to manage storm water in emergencies as well as in catch basins. According to Highway Supervisor Jeff Eldridge, the truck would be housed in Rochester, because it is the only town with the facilities to do so.

“I think it’s a great item to regionalize,” Eldridge said.

The Selectmen also announced a decision to donate a 1993 ambulance to the town of Northfield. The ambulance has not been used by Rochester for some time, and according to LaCamera, Northfield has sponsored a survival program that Rochester seventh graders have attended for the past 45 years.

“It has very little value on the auction market,” LaCamera said. “They always support us. I think it’s a great thing that we can do this for them.”

The Selectmen also met with the Finance Committee to review several Articles on the Warrant for Town Meeting on November 25, with either the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee supporting all of the articles except for one; the Selectmen unanimously disapproved of an article that would allow for a Community Preservation Act in Rochester.

By Nick Walecka


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