The Board of Finance backed down a bit Thursday after initially saying Tuesday that they would cut $293,000 in discretionary spending from the Board of Education's budget—instead, they cut $165,000.
The $120.2 million Board of Finance town budget for 2012-2013 now passes on to the Representative Town Meeting for a vote in May. The Finance Board's budget reduced the school district's funding to $79,984,182. Town-side spending, which wasn't cut, came to $40,250,354.
Technically, the Finance Board cut the education budget by $340,000, but revised estimated windfall of $175,000 in its OPEB ("Other Post Employee Benefits") fund means that in practical terms, only $165,000 in spending from the school district's budget request was cut. The $175,000 is a bit more than the $150,000 that earlier estimates had been for that account.
The board also opted to finance a training tower for firefighters from a reserve fund rather than out of the operating budget of the town. In effect, that means the $110,000 cost will come from a town savings account rather than directly from taxpayers, enough to save about one-tenth of a mill, slightly reducing this year's tax increase.