Mansfield finalizes draft of 2014 budget

MANSFIELD — A final draft of Mansfield’s 2014 budget has been completed and is available for public review at City Hall.

The draft prepared by Councilman Matt Clark — the eighth revision of the proposed spending plan — will be the subject of a public hearing at 7 p.m. Monday, March 24, at the Mansfield Community Center.

The total $1.1 million revenue budget is based on 15 percent increases in the town’s water, sewer, and electricity funds. All other revenues are budgeted at 2013 levels; expenses were also budgeted flat to last year.

Mansfield budgets on a calendar year. Under the town charter, the budget is to be prepared by the mayor and recommended to the council for approval. In prior years, Mansfield’s budget has been prepared and available for public review in time to be approved by Dec. 31. The city has said that problems with new accounting system software led to the budget delay this year.

With 15 percent increases in revenue categories, the town will be able to meet its expenses and have a surplus of $47,000. Town leaders have said they hope to be able to cover the cost of contracting with a CPA and hiring a bookkeeper to prevent budget problems in the future. If additional revenues are needed to cover those costs, council members acknowledged that they might have to take some money from savings in order to balance the budget.