YARMOUTH – The Dennis Yarmouth Regional School District is getting some additional state aid for school funding, but the town is still left with a shortfall of just over $200,000 in order to balance the budget.
That’s why Yarmouth residents will need to head to a Special Town Meeting next week to resolve the matter.
The school district received some state aid over and above what they had budgeted for. Out of that money, $65,000 was contributed to the Town of Yarmouth’s share of the school budget.
The Special Town Meeting warrant includes two articles dealing with the school budget. The first asks voters whether they would like to give $200,000 to the schools to cover the shortfall. The second gives choices as to where to get the money to balance the budget.
Yarmouth Selectmen voted last night on a menu of choices for Town Meeting voters as to where the money would come from.
Eric Tolley, chairman of the Yarmouth Board of Selectman, said, “Obviously the hot button items are the police anti-crime team, licensed social worker and police training.”
The selectmen’s list goes from the list intrusive cuts to the most. There is vehicle repair, roadside mowing, street sweeping.
“The worst it hurts, the further down the list,” he said.
One selectman, Tracy Post, had said at past meetings that she was in favor of some of the money coming from the town’s stabilization fund, but Tolley said the majority of the board was not in favor of that option.
“My sense is the majority of the board does not feel like that should be tapped into for issues such as this,” he said.
The Special Town Meeting is Monday, July 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Mattacheese Middle School.
If the voters at Special Town Meeting vote against Article 5, which asks whether they want to fund the deficit in the school budget, then the school committee is obligated to hold a district meeting.
The last district meeting in 2008 did not go well for the Town of Yarmouth, Tolley said. That was after the town changed the regional agreeement with Dennis in 2006.
“There is a sentiment in the Town of Yarmouth that people do not want to continue to cut the town budget and sacrifice town services for the sake of the school budget so I think the outcome will be very different than it was in 2008,” he said.
As to whether people will show up for the Special Town Meeting in the middle of summer, Tolley was circumspect.
“We expect a small turn out but it is what it is,” he said.