Fiscal Year 2024 Proposed Budget
Published on May 02, 2023
Re: Fiscal Year 2024 Operating Budget
Please find attached the Town’s Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) proposed budget. Our goal in creating this budget, as with all our past budgets, is to provide a quality service at an affordable price. Over the past seven years through the budget process, we have worked to identify areas to cut, while improving efficiency. We have also pursued alternative, innovative sources of new revenue, though not all have been accepted. At this time the proposed budget request includes an increase to taxes amounting to 3.5%.
In creating this budget, I asked all departments to provide me with two scenarios for discussion: level service and level service with contractual salary increases. The third scenario, a 5% cut, while not specifically requested, was discussed during budget meetings. The goal of this endeavor was to determine what is truly required to provide our community with a quality service at an affordable price.
Budget priorities continue to include investment in our schools, infrastructure, and public safety. These three areas are critical to the high quality of life experienced in our community and have suffered the most over the past three years of the pandemic. Additionally, we have made some additional investments in municipal modernization to improve our constituents’ ability to access services without necessitating an in person visit.
My FY24 proposed budget is balanced, funding recurring operations through the use of recurring revenue sources. These revenue sources include: taxation, state aid, and local revenues. In an effort to protect the Town in the future, my budget request also includes funding to continue to build our reserves. I have requested an appropriation of $500,000 to our Stabilization (“Rainy Day”) Fund in order to ensure our fund balance is at least 10% of our total operating budget. In addition I have also requested an appropriation of $250,000 to our OPEB Trust Fund.
In a continued effort to provide quality services, inclusive of adequate funding for the advancement of our schools and for public safety, it was necessary to make gains in efficiency via proper placement of personnel and sharing of resources. I continue to work closely with our department heads that provide creative ideas to enhance operations and better serve the public. Through this cooperative effort, I am able to offer a budget that continues to provide quality services to the residents and businesses of West Springfield at an affordable rate.
I look forward to working closely with the Town Council during the budget process to adopt this fiscally sound budget for the upcoming year that puts forth the best interests of the residents and businesses of the Town of West Springfield.
Please contact me at your convenience with any questions or concerns.
William C. Reichelt