July 22, 2024

Seekonk Approves $72M Budget

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Voters at Monday’s Town Meeting approved a FY’25 budget of $72.1 million. There were 114 votes in favor and 45 in opposition.

  • $34.3 million was approved for education. That includes Tri County Regional Vocational High School as well as Bristol Agricultural High School.
  • $32,920,453 is designated for Seekonk Public Schools. An amendment was made to provide an additional $135,000 in Chapter 70 funds to the district. The vote was 121 in favor and 44 in opposition.
  • The effort to transfer $50,000 into a Hurley Middle School HVAC Stabilization Fund was defeated with 98 in support and 53 opposed. A two-thirds vote was needed for passage.

Ryan McGee, the School Business Administrator warned of a “catastrophic failure” of the school’s heating system, which has repeatedly broken down in the last few years. School Superintendent Rebecca Kidwell explained the boiler will need “significant repair.”

In 2023, Colliers conducted a feasibility study for the district and cited $15 million worth of needs for Hurley Middle School, including an HVAC system, roof replacement, and upgrade of the electrical service and distribution panels.

Michael Brady, a member of the Finance Committee, thought it was a mistake to limit the funding to just one project for one school. “The goal is to keep (Hurley) open all winter,” Kidwell noted.

Town Administrator Shawn Cadime said the town’s other stabilization funds could be utilized to pay for Hurley’s boiler.

  • $1.5 million was approved for the Sanitation Enterprise Fund. That amount had been increased by $387, 651. The vote for the new total was 101 in favor with 44 in opposition.
  • Voters rejected funding for year one of the three year lease/purchase of one large dump truck for the Public Works Department. The cost was $100,000.

Other articles which were approved:

  • To authorize the Board of Selectmen to enter into a five (5) year contract, with five one (1) year renewal options, commencing on July 1, 2024 with MTG Disposal to provide curbside solid waste and recyclables collection for Town residential units. 
  • Vote to create a PEG Cable Access and Cable Related Fund. Local access channel TV9 suspended operations on April 1 and has been negotiating with the Town on a new Access Agreement.
  • Appropriation of $32, 618 for administrative expenses for the Community Preservation Fund.
  • Authorization for the Board of Selectmen to dispose of surplus property.
  • Set salary and compensation for elected and appointed officials.

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