Dedham Town Meeting members voted Monday to apporve a Fiscal Year 2013 operating budget of $85,060,161, an increase of about $2.5 million from this year's budget.
Members also supported a $6.2 million capital campaign.
The operating budget vote came after Town Meeting member Russ Poole said budget-makers were out of touch with the "real world" that's still feeling the Great Recession.
"This sort of spending is not sustainable. We are partly to blame because of our consistent approval," said Poole, who also blamed the Finance Committee for their approvals and the school and town administrator for their treatment of the budget like a "blank check."
Since Fiscal Year 2006, the town's operating budget has grown by 21.1 million, Poole said and town records confirmed.
Inside the Budget
- The received $20,000 more than last year to buy books. Director Mary Ann Tricarico said the library will meet the state minimum for the number of books required, and no employees or pages will be let go. Last year, the due to budget constraints, but later hired them back.
- The town will withhold payment to Norfolk Agricultural High School until officials are satisfied with how NAHS is spending the money. The cost to send students to the school is $2,000, and Dedham has 24 students heading there in the fall. The Finance Committee set aside $50,000 to pay NAHS once they are satisfied, chairman David Martin said Monday.
- The town will make $500,000 in sidewalk repairs. The town had requestion $1 million. Town Administrator William Keegan told Town Meeting that Dedham was unable to borrow that much at this time.
- The approved capital spending plan will give the the ability to buy four new police cars and two cruiser laptops, for a total cost of $140,635.
- Town Meeting approved $300,000 to pay for a preliminary design for a new police station. on where the town will build the new station.
- Town Meeting deposited more than $403,000 from hotels and meals tax revenue into the town's stabilization fund. The account now has $2.3 million, all generated from the new local taxes. Officials plan to use that money to pay for new buildings and major renovation projects.