The Town of Blandford is proposing an operating budget of $4.6 million in FY 2021, not including the Water Enterprise. The Water Enterprise operating budget is proposed at $535 thousand.
• FY21 Budget Summary Report
• FY21 Anticipated Revenue Summary
• FY21 Proposed Budget
• FY21 Expense Pie Graph
• FY21 Water Budget – Revenue and Expenditure
• FY21 Annual Town Meeting Warrant – June 22, 2020
The following is a snapshot overview of the proposed budget followed by a budget narrative. Much more details of the budget can be found in the links above.
In 2017 Blandford became one of the 271 communities (out of 351) in Massachusetts to achieve Green Communities certification, which granted our Town $138,425 to fund energy conservation measures in the Town Hall, at the Water Treatment Plant, and the Highway Garage. This designation is quite an achievement and reflects the hard work and tireless effort Blandford has exhibited in meeting the Green Communities Designation and Grant Program’s Criteria. We invested the funding into seven energy conservation projects across the town. The majority of these projects were lighting retrofits, where the existing inefficient lighting was replaced with efficient LED technology. Six municipal buildings have had partial or complete lighting retrofits since 2017. These buildings include: Town Hall, the Water Treatment Plant, the Highway Garage, the Library, the Historical Building, and the Post Office.
The remaining Green Community’s grant funding was used to install variable frequency drives on the hot water circulation system at Town Hall and to fund administrative support for grant administration.
Combined, the total cost of these projects was $164,803. Incentives from utilities paid for $33,742 of the project cost, while the Green Community designation grant covered $131,061. In total the completed projects are anticipated to save Blandford 80,321 kWh of electricity annually and $14,045 in annual cost savings. Click here to see what this energy use reduction means in terms of Greenhouse Gas emissions equivalencies.
Now that we have completed our first round of projects we can apply for additional funding via the competitive Green Communities grants program. Some communities have received as many as seven rounds of funding adding up to over a million dollars.
Blandford Select Board Chair, Cara Letendre, will deliver her first State of the Town address on behalf of the Town of Blandford. Letendre will deliver the address at 6:30pm on December 18 in the Gym of Town Hall located at 1 Russell Stage Road. She will discuss current and future initiatives that aim to address small Town challenges that contribute to quality-of-life issues, including how the Town is handling issues of the past. She will also share new growth initiatives that look forward to generate revenue, and discuss policy changes that help increase accountability and better address Town needs.
Following her address will be a presentation of the Town’s financial forecast from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s (DOR) Technical Assistance Bureau. Immediately following the forecast presentation will be a panel made of the Financial Management Team of the Town which include Treasurer/Collector Sara Hunter, Accountant Eric Kinsherf, Chair of the Finance Committee Janet Lombardo, Assessor from Regional Resource Group Harald Scheid, Chair of the Board of Assessor’s Stephen Jemiolo, and Town Administrator Joshua A. Garcia – along with the presenters from DOR. David Hopson will be facilitating the panel and Q&A from the audience related to the presentation as well to address the activities of the Town’s day-to-day financial operations responsible for addressing the vision of the Towns Select Board. Overall, members of the public will get to learn key challenges and successes within the fields of finance, education, public safety, and new growth opportunities resulting in the state of the Town.