Medford officials are gearing up for a proposed $232 million biennial budget that avoids any layoffs but seeks reductions in materials and equipment.
"It was a difficult budget to balance, but we pulled it off," said Alison Chan, Medford's finance director. "We haven't laid anyone off, and we are not proposing to lay off employees."
What: Review of the proposed 2013-15 city budget by the Medford Budget Committee. When: Noon today.
Where: Carnegie Library, second floor, 413 W. Main St.
Other meetings: Public comment will be taken on the budget at 6 p.m. May 8, May 15, May 22 and May 29 in the Carnegie Library.
The proposed budget document, which was still being worked on Wednesday, will be unveiled at a public meeting at noon today on the second floor of the Carnegie Library, 413 W. Main St.
The proposed budget is less than the current $260 million budget that expires June 30, but the reduction is mostly attributable to a one-time $20 million urban renewal bond and the cost for various improvements at the water treatment plant.
The general fund, which is the share of the overall budget that has no restrictions on how it is spent, is proposed at $112 million, slightly down from the current budget of $113 million.
"The economic climate that existed in the last biennium has not improved," Chan said.
The budget proposes that various departments cut back on materials and equipment expenses to keep the budget balanced, Chan said.
Costs for the Public Employees Retirement System have increased, and Chan said she has budgeted $2 million as the city's share to pay for that plan.
Chan said the Legislature has discussed reforming PERS, but those proposed reforms have not been factored into this budget.
Both the building and planning departments, which have seen sharp declines in the need for their services in recent years, will continue a practice of not filling positions in the upcoming budget.
However, the largest departments run by the city — police, fire and parks — will continue to fill positions as they become vacant.
Medford police likely would receive only a slight increase over the current $41.2 million budget.
The Fire Department will see an increase from the current $25.5 million.
The third largest department — parks and recreation — will receive a slight decrease from the current $17.2 million.
The city's proposed budget may be inspected or obtained starting Friday at City Hall, Room 380, 411 W. Eighth St.
Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.