GLOCESTER – Residents will have the final say this month on a fiscal plan approved by the Glocester Town Council that would see roughly $1.7 million in new spending in the upcoming year.
But thanks to other changes and increases to some categories of revenue, Glocester taxpayers will see only minor changes to their bills if the plan is approved according to Finance Director Adam Mucino.
“Glocester is in really good financial shape,” said Mucino. “The council, I think, has done a great job in allocating the ARPA funds to things that otherwise might have shown up in our budget.”
An adopted budget totaling $33,093,414 will go before voters in an all-day referendum scheduled for Tuesday, May 24 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Glocester Senior Center at 1210 Putnam Pike.
Increases in the proposal come primarily through municipal spending, where expenses are projected at $816,584 over the previous year, including $209,332 more for public safety and and $288,708 more for public works.
The allocation for the Glocester School District would increase by $181,108 or 2.53 percent, according to the council’s adopted plan.
Spending for Foster-Glocester Regional Schools, meanwhile, have already been determined, with the town to allocate $20,498 less than last year for a total of $11,303,772. That regional budget was approved by voters from both towns in March.
“It’s set in stone,” explained Mucino, noting that budget for Glocester Elementary Schools, by comparison, is rolled into the referendum. “The council has some degree of oversight on the Glocester school budget.”
Capital expenses will increase $356,681 over the previous year according to the draft budget, with $800,000 allocated to paving in 2023, and $280,000 dedicated to purchase of a new plow truck and sander.
Mucino noted that the town is still awaiting state legislative approval for one proposed change, which would see FM Global move from a PILOT agreement to an assessment-based tax payment. A tax treaty with the company that brought in $2.9 million in 2021 has expired, and the town needs General Assembly authorization for the move, as FM Global’s contribution to the regular tax base will cause the town to exceed a state-mandated 4 percent cap on levy increases.
“We’re confident we’re going to get that,” Mucino said of the legislative stamp. “They’re just completing their diligence.”
Mucino said the company’s actual payment to the town will likely be, “not far off,” from the $2.9 million paid in previous years. As a result, the $3,071,086 more to be raised via taxes under the budget proposal would come with only a slight increase for the average Glocester taxpayer.
The complete budget proposal can be found here.