After questions arose with the School Department's financials, town staff now has until May 1 to submit a proposed Fiscal 2023 budget to the Town Council. #Finances #FY2023 #MiddletownRI
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Matt Sheley at (401) 842-6543 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MUNICIPAL BUDGET NOW DUE TO TOWN COUNCIL ON MAY 1
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (MARCH 17, 2022) – The Town of Middletown is pushing back its budget process by a month.
Recently, Town Administrator Shawn J. Brown asked the Town Council to delay its receipt of the proposed Fiscal 2023 by 30 days after questions arose with some of the figures provided by the School Department. Normally, Town staff turns a proposed budget over the council on April 1.
Minus delaying the remaining budget schedule, Brown said there was no impact on the Town, its residents, businesspeople and visitors from the move.
“Obviously, we’d rather have moved forward with our original schedule, but there were too many unresolved questions with the school numbers,” Brown said. “This way, we’ll have more time to make sure everything is buttoned up properly. It might seem pretty routine and humdrum to most people, but our budget is one of the most important duties of the year because it sets an agenda for the entire next year.”
Previously, the School Department acknowledged overspending its Fiscal 2021 budget by close to $1 million. According to state law, any such over expenditure must be reported in a timely manner to the council.
In a one-page March 14 memo to the council, Brown wrote that similar issues were present with the school’s financial reporting for the current Fiscal 2022 budget. He continued that Town staff had problems deciphering the school’s financial reporting and it wasn’t until the weekend of March 12-13 that the school figures became clearer.
Unfortunately, Brown wrote that “the level of School Department overspending has significantly increased from the prior year.” Although a figure was not included in Brown’s memo, it was expected to be in the neighborhood of more than $1 million.
Brown and Town Finance Director Marc Tanguay outlined their concerns with the School Department financial reporting to the council at the group’s last meeting on March 7.
In response, council members have asked how the schools can keep continually overspend their budget without any repercussions or adjustments.
Brown also said the new budget date had nothing to do with the Town’s new Tiered Residential Tax Program or anything on the Town side of the budget.
School Superintendent Rosemarie K. Kraeger said the School Department planned on filing its proposed Fiscal 2023 budget before the end of March.
“Our school budget will be submitted on time as required by Town Charter,” Kraeger said. “The overall Town budget has many moving parts. This extension will allow a complete review of revenues and expenses. The American Rescue Plan Act dollars adds a new dimension to this year’s budget. Reviewing how best to utilize these one time dollars is essential. The May 1 deadline will provide the time to ensure the dollars are targeted to address the needs of the Town.”
Document Link: https://www.middletownri.com/DocumentCenter/View/4151/nycu-may-1