WINTHROP — The Town Council on Monday unanimously approved a $16,627,169 budget for the town and school.

Officials said that while the impact on the tax rate will not be known until an assessment is finished in August, they anticipate that this budget will likely not result in a tax increase.

On the municipal side, the total budget is $9,583,488, to which $4,291,749 in revenues will be applied to reduce the tax appropriation. Compared to last year, revenues are up by $576,538, or a 3.59% increase. Expenses are up by $614,538, or a 3.84% increase, over last year.

The bulk of increased revenues come from state revenue sharing. Winthrop received an additional $338,593 in state revenues this year for a total of roughly $1.4 million.

Winthrop also saw a $23,553 increase in revenues for ambulance services.

Town Council Chair Sarah Fuller said Winthrop’s ambulance saw an uptick in transfers this year, adding that they serve surrounding towns in addition to Winthrop residents.

According to Fuller, the municipal budget is finalized as of Monday night. The school budget will go to public referendum for final approval on Tuesday, June 22.

Fuller said this year’s increases were primarily the result of standard wage increases according to contracts.

“We have a fairly flat budget,” she said. “Everybody was really good at holding the line. I think everybody worked to keep a really tight ship. It was probably one of the easier budget years we’ve had due to the planning of staff, our city manager, and finance director. The last 18 months have been so chaotic for everybody, and now we’re in a pretty sound place.”

For the school budget, the town will contribute $6,787,680 toward the total of $12,031,775 for funding pre-K to 12 education. Additionally, $56,000 will be contributed toward the total of $94,627 for adult education, and $200,000 will go toward the total of $547,328 for the school’s foodservice and nutrition program.

Town Manager Jeffrey Kobrock said during Monday’s meeting that he and town officials began working on the budget back in January and, due to being in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, approached the process as frugally as possible.

“The world was a very different place in January than it is now,” he said. “If you’ll recall there was great uncertainty as to vaccines for COVID. There was great uncertainty as to what the world would look like in the coming months. So we took an extremely conservative approach with this budget. We attempted to propose nothing new, and to only fund those capital expenses that would cause problems in the future if they weren’t funded this year.”

He concluded that while the exact impact on the tax rate is currently unknown, they do not expect it to result in a tax increase for residents.

Fuller, during the meeting, said the budget places the town in a great position when looking at future investments, improving the quality of life for residents and visitors, and laying a strong foundation for additional economic development.

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