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No Surprises in Town Budget in First 6 Months

Revenues right on schedule with expenditures running slight behind budget.

For the first half of the fiscal year, the Belmont budget is chugging along just fine, according to the town’s chief number cruncher.

Town Accountant Chitra Subramanian presented the second quarter results to the Warrant Committee Wednesday night, Feb. 15, and said that, at least so far, there are “no surprises” in either revenue projections or expenditures for the first six months of the fiscal 2012 year.

In fact, total receipts – which include tax revenue, all sorts of fees and state aid – came in at $40.9 million or 49 percent of what was budgeted while total operating expenditures – all the checks written out by the town ­– was at $37.0 million or 43 percent of the $85.8 million set aside at last year’s Town Meeting.

In fact, the area that has shown some deviation from the norm so far – an increase in fire department overtime  – has been dealt with by the Warrant Committee earlier this year.

When asked if there was some area in the budget that the Committee - the financial watchdog for the Town Meeting – should be worried about, Subramanian could only point to the state revenue fund and only because towns always have to "chase after it to get it."

The importance of the budget being "under control" is that next year's budget, fiscal 2013 that is currently being constructed by the town and schools, depends on this fiscal year coming in "on schedule," said Warrant Committee Chairwoman Elizabeth Allison.

Both town and schools are working on the assumption that next year's budget will receive $2 million in free cash rather than the customary $1 million since projections of improved revenue and increased state aid will allow for such as a transfer, said Allison.

"So if we know early on that we don't have any problems, or more important, that something is amiss, we can can all work together to correct it," said Allison. 

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