Mayor Joseph Sullivan outlined several initiatives in his budget speech to the Town Council Tuesday, looking toward increasing recycling efforts, sprucing up town parks, and repairing a multitude of town roads.
The $100 million budget will be discussed in Committee on Ways and Means meetings over the next 30 days; however, Sullivan said that through investment and new growth, the budget would lead to progress in the town.
“This $100 million budget is the financial articulation of the values we promote as a community. The generous provision of resources for education, public safety, public works and other services to our citizens is a statement of values from which we, as a community, can all derive a sense of pride,” Sullivan said.
Braintree has a higher bond rating, has given the schools the largest increase in school spending in the last 10 years with a $2.4 million increase, is financially strong with the property tax growth seen in the Dave & Buster’s and the Hyatt Place renovation, and has successfully dealt with cuts to local aid, he said.
In addition to investment in the community, the town has also retired a $1.2 million snow deficit from fiscal 2011 while still managing to enlarge reserves from $4 million in 2008 to $12.4 million today.
According to Sullivan, the town will also focus more of its energy going forward on investing in public safety.
“We will increase uniformed police personnel to 75 and put more officers on the street through the full implementation of the civilian dispatcher program. We will fill vacancies caused by retirements in both the police and fire departments and increase funding for overtime in both budgets,” Sullivan said.
Funding will also be provided for an infusion of new equipment, including a new aerial platform truck, police and fire command vehicles, and cruisers.
This is on top of a recently completed $1 million renovation to the police headquarters, which has preceded a facelift expected for the East Braintree fire station this year.
“The budget I place before you balances the need to save for the future but also to expand and improve our services and our infrastructure,” Sullivan said.
Councilors thanked the mayor for the priorities outlined in the budget, and thanked department heads for facing financial challenges head on.