By Christopher McDermott
GREAT BARRINGTON—After accepting about $190,000 in reductions, the town’s Finance Committee and select board have settled on a fiscal year 2019 annual budget of about $11.3 million to present to a public hearing.
At a budget workshop on March 19, Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin answered an earlier request to give the two leadership groups a total of $222,476 in potential cuts that Tabakin said were “feasible but not recommended.” Tabakin provided more options than the $200,000 that had been requested so the boards could discuss saving a few items.
Some of the noteworthy cuts from that Monday meeting included one salaried firefighter position for $50,000 (to be partially offset by a $15,000 increase in funds for on-call positions), a tree warden position, custodian for the Housatonic Community Center, library materials, parks programming, and professional development and training from several departments.
All this leaves the budget at about a 1.9 percent increase over FY18, and it follows Berkshire Hills Regional School District’s passing of a $25.1 million net operating budget on March 8.
For the full story, pick up an issue of this week’s Berkshire Record.