Employee Costs Push Proposed Barnstable County Budget Higher

BARNSTABLE – Due in part to the rising costs of employee and retirement benefits, a $27.3 million operating budget for the next fiscal year has been proposed by the Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners.

The amount represents a $700,000 increase over this year’s amount.

Leo Cakounes, Chairman of the County Commission, said that it’s a multi-step process.

“The executive branch has to prepare the budget, and then they hand it in to the legislative branch for their review. Boards of Selectmen put together the budget and then present it to town meeting,” he said.

Factors in the increase include a hike in health insurance and debt service costs, such as a water contamination lawsuit settlement.

Cakounes said with all things considered, the proposed amount is an impressive achievement. “The budget that we handed in is just .29 percent higher. It needs to be added that we have not cut any services,” he said.

It is hoped that a planned early retirement program will help lessen the number of county positions that will almost certainly need to be eliminated in the near future.

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