Savoy voters to consider 2 percent spending hike

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SAVOY — Savoy voters will be asked to approve a $1.78 million spending plan for fiscal 2017 on Wednesday.

The annual town meeting warrant includes almost exclusively budgetary items and will be decided at 7 p.m. at the Savoy Fire Station on 17 Center Road.

The proposed spending plan is slightly more than a 2 percent increase from the previous year, with the only notable increases coming from rises in health insurance obligations, retirement spending, and school district costs, according to Select Board Chairman John Tynan.

"The warrant, the whole budget doesn't look too bad this year," Tynan said. "We were a little concerned early on looking at our cherry sheet, at revenues, but they don't look that bad now either."

The town has worked with insurances providers to shave about $5,000 off of its general insurance costs — from $48,000 to $43,000.

"Those are good things, we've really been watching that insurance closely, and we've been working with our insurance program (Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association) to get as many rewards as we can," Tynan said.

Savoy's health insurance costs, like several other towns in the region, have risen. They're anticipated to jump about $7,700, from $41,000 to $48,700.

"There's not really too much we can do about that," Tynan said. "The program we're in is a pretty good program; we looked at it a few years ago."

County retirement costs have similarly ticked up, from $46,000 to $49,000, and the budgeted amount for workers compensation increased $3,500 due to a claim. Obligations to the schools, including McCann Technical School, rose just over $23,000 and public safety salaries increased from $6,000 to $9,000.

"We just try and maintain the budget we have been working with, with increases that are warranted and ... anything to lower costs, we try to work on that," Tynan said. "Nothing is going way, way up or way, way down."

The warrant includes an article requesting the use of $35,000 from free cash to offset the tax rate — the town had only $36,000 in certified free cash in 2016, according to the state Department of Revenue.

Though it's not yet clear what impact the proposed budget will have on the tax rate, Savoy has traditionally had one of the lowest average single family tax bills in the commonwealth. In 2016, it was $2,620.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376.


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