FAQ: Impact on Town Services

  • What will the override do for the town?

    The override will maintain services at their current level. It will also add back $600,000 to the school budget to restore core services and $400,000 to the DPW budget to deal with the backlog of town-wide road resurfacing projects. Many of Arlington’s roads are in a critical state due to the extensive damage to them done by severe weather.

    The town committed to a three-year plan in conjunction with the override. The plan means that there will be:

    • no more than a 3 1/2 percent increase for operating budgets
    • no more than a 7 percent increase for health care expenses
    • no more than a 7 percent increase for special education
  • If the override is successful, how will the $6.49 million be distributed in the town budget?

    In the first year, $2.89 million will go to the town and the schools to maintain level funded budgets – in other words, the town and schools will not have to make cuts but can keep their budgets at FY11 levels. An additional $600,000 will be added to the school budget to bring back more teachers and reduce athletic fees. The town will received an additional $400,000, which will go into the DPW budget and will be used for deferred road maintenance. This leaves $2.6 million, which will go to the reserves to ensure adequate funding for all three years of the plan. The plan will be extended beyond three years if the town is able to save more money than projected or if the town receives more funds from the Commonwealth.

  • What are the $600,000 for the schools and $400,000 for the town numbers I heard mentioned?

    The override will allow the town to maintain the level of services we currently have in FY11 and add back some services that were cut going into this year. The schools would have their level services budget increased by $600,000. The town’s FY12 budget would be increased by $400,000.

  • What will Arlington residents lose if we don’t pass an override?

    Every town department and every school will be affected by the cuts that will have to be made to deal with the town’s projected $4 million deficit. On top of the reductions already made, these cuts will have a significant impact on the quality of services and quality of life in the community. For more details, please see the fact sheet.

  • Why are so many teachers and employees being cut?

    Employees represent approximately 80% of the costs of operating our town. Town officials have cut supplies and materials to the bone. The only place to make cuts is with our staff.

  • How will the override affect the Fox Library?

    If the override fails, the Friends of the Fox will need to fund the equivalent of 2 days of personnel costs for the Fox in order for the Fox Library to stay open the same amount of hours (three days for eight hours each). The town will continue to fund one day of personnel costs and all other expenses.

    If the override passes, the current arrangement between the Friends of the Fox and the town will be able to continue. The Friends of the Fox will fund the equivalent of 5 hours of personnel costs and the town will pay for the rest of the personnel and other expenses.

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