FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham City Council last night approved a $284.4 million budget for fiscal year 2021, which starts July 1.
The budget now heads back to Mayor Yvonne Spicer for her signature.
During the budget process, Superintendent of Framingham Public Schools Bob Tremblay proposed to eliminate the lease of the school departments administrative offices at the Perini Building at a cost of more than $500,000 for 3 years, to help save money.
“The pandemic has brought out the need to make drastic shifts, administrative budget cuts, and cancel plans for supports our schools really need. While we did that because of COVID-19’s detrimental fiscal impact, we still strive to do the absolute best we can for our students, educators, and community at the number approved tonight. I am so relieved that during this crisis we have so far avoided the need to lay off an educator, cut educator pay, or remove critical curriculum and supports. Schools have immense challenges, now made slightly easier by having a supportive vote by the City Council tonight,” said School Committee Chair Adam Freudberg, in a statement.
The Framingham Public Schools budget is $140.9 million.
Keefe Technical’s Framingham assessment is $9.468 million.
“With this single action to accept the School Committee and Superintendent’s operating and capital recommendations, the planning for the ultimate unknown of exactly what schools will look like this fall is now supported with a well thought out financial plan. We must continue to address the next steps together, while not losing sight that we still must advocate and secure federal and state funding to help all city needs. Thank you to Chair George King, and Finance Chair Adam Steiner for working so closely with the School Committee and FPS over the last few months to make tonight’s final passage a truly collaborative process resulting with a statement that education remains a top priority for Framingham, said Freudberg, who represents District 4.
State leadership has told the Mayor, the 11-member City Council, and the 9-member School Committee that the state will have a budget shortfall of more than $5 billion and that the state may not be able to provide cities & towns with as much local aid as planned.
Some City Councilors hearing from Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), who also represents Framingham wanted to make deeper cuts in the fiscal year 2021 budget, but many of the votes were 6-5 split, to go with additional spending the Spicer Administration had requested.
The Framingham Police budget is $16.27 million. It includes new contractual raises Mayor Spicer negotiated for union members.
Along with the operating budget, the City Council also approved the capital projects budget and funding for the water & sewer enterprise funds.
Water was approved at $22.896 million and sewer at $29.269 million. These amounts will impact the rate users will see in their water & sewer bills over the next fiscal year.