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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Brockton Approves Its Budget

Brockton | by Robyn Garvey  

This year's budget emphasizes roads and infrastructure.

Brockton has passed its 2019 budget, and it includes a special emphasis on roads and infrastructure.

Of Brockton’s 21 million dollar budget, 8.6 million will be raised through taxes.

This represents an overall tax increase of 2.84%.

On the average home assessed at 237 thousand dollars, this equates to a 52 dollar increase.

That jumps to 158 dollars once the new road levy is factored in.

Brockton has introduced a new road levy fee, in which each property (per roll number) will be subject to an additional 100 dollars a year fee.

This money will be put into a road reserve fund to go towards Brockton’s road system which Mayor Chris Peabody says is in need of attention and upgrades.

The budget also boasts 5.4 million dollars in capital projects including:

-$1,000,000 for road reconstruction

-$250,000 dedicated to sidewalk maintenance

-$715,000 dedicated to Public works equipment

-$512,000 dedicated to current and future recreation equipment
and facilities

-$200,000 dedicated to a Recreation Reserve Fund

- Funds will also be set aside to support Business Retention and  Expansion Initiatives as well as a Needs Study to assess current conditions and  prioritize needs for all roads.

As for Brockton’s overall reserve fund, the municipality is forecasting an ending 2018 reserve fund balance at 1.8 million dollars, with a forecasted 2019 ending reserve fund balance of 1.9 million dollars.

The 2019 budget includes putting 200 thousand dollars into the recreation reserves and 610 thousand into road reconstruction reserves.

Peabody says Council worked diligently with staff to consider infrastructure needs and as such has approved a budget that supports improvements in roads in 2019 and also commits to investment in infrastructure for the long-term.

Steve Adams was the lone Councilor to oppose the budget.

Adams expressed concern that with the new 100 dollar fee the tax rate jumps closer to the 5 % mark and he believes this is too high an increase for many residents.

Peabody points out however that for far too long the roads budget has been sacrificed and cut, he says it is now time to build it up as there are many roads in need of upgrades as well as road equipment in need of replacement.

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