Friday, May 3, 2013
The new budget will increase taxes by an average of $90 per household.
The fiscal 2014 budget is set to go after the North Kingstown Town Council unanimously approved the $97.4 million budget Wednesday night. Going into the night's special meeting, council members had asked Town Manager Michael Embury and Finance Director Trish Sunderland to find cuts and scenarios that would bring the town's side of the budget as close to revenue-neutral as possible (i.e. no additional tax dollars would be raised to fund increases in the municipal side). Among those cuts, the council passed the elimination of three potential positions in the North Kingstown Fire Department – a $200,000 price tag. Another $225,000 allotted for road repairs and repaving will come from the town's surplus. Embury and Councilor Carol Hueston …
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
School Committee Member Bill Mudge asserts the contract with Jamestown students is costing the town millions of dollars.
Tuesday, April 30
To the editor, The superintendent of schools, Dr. Phil Auger, has repeatedly stated over the past two years that North Kingstown “makes a profit of between $1.2 and $1.4 million” by providing a high school education for approximately 200 Jamestown students. I find no empirical evidence that supports this conclusion. If you have been unwittingly persuaded by Dr. Auger’s unsubstantiated rhetoric, it’s time for you to hear the truth, the whole truth, about Jamestown tuition rates. Unfortunately, there is an abundance of evidence that will substantiate an “indifferent mindset” by past members of both the Town Council and School Committee has cost North Kingstown taxpayers a minimum of $5 million over the past 10 years. That’s correct, $5 …
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Less than 10 people spoke at Monday night's public hearings.
With May 1 (the date when the North Kingstown Town Council is scheduled to approve the 2014 budget) approaching, both the council and the North Kingstown School Committee looked for resident input at two public hearings Monday night. Only three people spoke during the council's hearing (addressing the town side of the budget) while six spoke at the school committee's hearing. "With a $60 million-plus enterprise, I was hoping more of our citizens would take interest in coming out," said School Committee Member Robert Jones. On the town side, John McDermott – a trustee with the Willett Free Library in Saunderstown – asked the council to consider equal appropriations between Willett and Davisville Free Library. In the preliminary budget, …
Monday, April 8, 2013
Public hearings for this year's budget are scheduled Monday at North Kingstown High School.
In just under a month, the North Kingstown Town Council will look to approve the fiscal 2014 budget. In anticipation of the ratification, the council and the North Kingstown School Committee and looking for public input from town residents. On Monday night, both municipal bodies will hold public hearings at North Kingstown High School. The preliminary budget for 2014 funds the school department's request, increasing it by $1.6 million from last year's allotment. Overall, the town's budget will jump by about $2.5 million – resulting in a tax levy increase of about 2.95 percent. For the average homeowner in town (with a home valued around $310,000), this averages out to about a $171 tax increase. Click here for a breakdown of the …
Monday, March 25, 2013
The Department of Public Works is evaluating the condition of North Kingstown's roads.
The arrival of spring means many things – warmer temepratures, more rain, budding crocuses and the return of road construction. In anticipation of the season of road work, the North Kingstown Department of Public Works has been evaluating the state of roads throughout town. According to Public Works Director Phil Bergeron, more than 40 roads in town are considered failing or in very poor condition. Seven roads are listed as "failed" for a total of 0.75 miles while another 34 are categorized as "very poor," totaling 3.25 miles. Bergeron is proposing that the North Kingstown Town Council allot $150,000 in fiscal 2014's budget to repave and repair 1.1 miles of roads – including portions of Sauga Avenue, Fowler Street and Earle Drive as …
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Snow removal has cost North Kingstown about $224,000 this year.
This winter season has been a snow lover's dream, including a historic snow storm that dumped about 18 to 20 inches of snow on North Kingstown in February. The back-to-back-to-back weekends of snowfall may have been a welcome sight to some, but to the town's budget it is quite the opposite. Typically, the town allots about $200,000 each year for snow removal. Each average storm (i.e. not last month's blizzard) costs the town about $20,000. So far this season, North Kingstown has spent $224,000 on snow removal. (This figure does not include this week's snowfall.) According to Public Works Director Phil Bergeron, this number is made up of costs for diesel fuel, salt, sand, employee overtime and contractors.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The town manager's proposed budget shows a 2.95 percent increase in the tax levy.
Members of the North Kingstown Town Council will have plenty of reading material this week as they received the town manager’s budget for fiscal year 2014 at its Monday night meeting. According to Town Manager Michael Embury, taxpayers will see a big change in their tax rate because of a property revaluation. Real estate values are anticipated to drop by an average of 6 percent across town. To offset that, the tax rate is expected to jump from $17.51 to $19.37 for next year. Those figures may change, Embury warned. Embury’s 2014 budget will reflect a 2.95 percent increase in the tax levy, below the 4 percent maximum allowed by state law. Approximately $1.5 million of the additional tax revenue will go toward the schools while $632,000 will…
Monday, May 21, 2012
School Committee member Bill Mudge offers a summary of this year's budget process and explains why he didn't vote on proposed budget cuts at the last meeting.
Monday, May 21, 2012
To the editor, I would like to set the record straight regarding the fiscal 2013 school budget and submit to the readers a summary of the budget process. On January 10, 2012 the superintendent of schools, Dr. Phil Auger, presented his preliminary fiscal 2013 budget submission to the North Kingstown School Committee in the amount of $60,022,427. During the Feb. 7, 2012 school committee meeting Auger submitted a revised budget of $58,737,012 which reflected the maximum four percent local tax increase that could be levied under Rhode Island General Law 16-2. This also represented a budget reduction of $1.4 million from his preliminary budget, submitted less than a month earlier. As recommended by the superintendent a motion was made by Dick …
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
School committee reviewed superintendent's recommendations, but did not agree on actions that would cut teachers, supplies and five high school sports.
Not orange. Not green. Not red. After two hours of discussion and comments from 10 citizens, the North Kingstown School Committee declined 3-3 to approve budget cuts or additions in any category at its May 8 meeting. Larry Ceresi was absent, recovering from back surgery, said Chair Kimberly Page. With the North Kingstown Town Council increasing the school’s fiscal year 2013 budget by two percent rather than the requested 4 percent, the schools face a shortfall of $848,349 from this year’s budget, due in part to inflation and less of a contribution from state aid. In response, Superintendant Phil Auger grouped his recommended changes into three color-coded categories designed to shrink the budget to the approved $57,243,694. The orange …
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
The school department's budget dominated the council's meeting to adopt the 2013 budget.
The North Kingstown Town Council unanimously passed fiscal 2013’s budget, set to start July 1 of this year, at its meeting Tuesday night. The new budget will increase the tax levy by 2.08 percent, raising property tax rates from $17.26 for every $1,000 to $17.53 – an average annual increase of $90 for the average household’s tax bill in North Kingstown. The budget also grants the school department a two-percent increase after two years of level-funding. Despite the increase, the school department’s bottom line budget will be $848,349* less than the current year’s budget. The council came to the smaller figure after factoring in its number to offset the possible school department deficit from this year (a matter the town is seeking …