Brendan Fitzpatrick

May 13, 2024

Finance Subcommittee Continues FY25 Budget Review

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FRAMINGHAM - The Framingham City Council’s Finance Subcommittee continued their review of the recommended operating and enterprise budgets for the 2025 fiscal year during their meeting at the Memorial Building on Wednesday, May 8.

Funding for the city’s library system, parks and recreation offerings, and technology services were discussed by the group. Those facets represent a portion of the roughly $359 million budget recommended in Framingham for FY25.

Interim Library Director for Framingham Dawn Dellasanta provided details on the public system’s recommended budget of $3,586,169. That’s nearly a level budget compared to FY24, as just a .99% raise—or about $35,000—is accounted for. About 80% of the proposed library budget is for salary.

Dellasanta highlighted a 1.5% overall increase in material circulated in the 2024 fiscal year compared to FY23, with just over 150,000 resources like books and museum passes being in circulation thanks to the Framingham Public Library. She added that thousands of residents have taken advantage of their programs for all ages.

“All of the services that you’ve just seen, everything that we have offered to this community, we have done without any extra staff,” Dellasanta said.

“Our staff work [sic] very hard, they’re professionals, they’re excellent at what they do, and they’re very committed to convincing everybody in this community to love their library.”

In regards to some of the library’s goals for FY25, Dellasanta said the team is looking to increase digital accessibility and expand their offerings across the community in multiple languages in order to represent all neighborhoods of Framingham.

Director of Parks and Recreation for Framingham Jim Snyder told the Finance Subcommittee that their recommended budget for FY25 has risen by just over 7%—or about $318,000—to $4,822,722. That includes approximately $3.3 million for parks and recreation services specifically, along with about $793,000 for Loring Arena and around $730,000 for the Callahan Center.

Vice Chair of the Finance Subcommittee and District 4 City Councilor Michael Cannon expressed his desire to have increased funding for the Callahan Center going forward, given what he described as the growing senior constituency within Framingham.

“I see where the growing need in our community is,” Cannon said, “and while they’ll make due with what is provided, I worry that this is not an adequate investment that we’re making…We should be investing more in our seniors.”

Technology Services Director Carly Premo Melo was the final speaker during Wednesday's review, as the suggested budget for the department $2,383,729; that’s an increase of $83,364 compared to last year.

The proposed Technology Services budget is mainly represented by maintenance costs, as that represents 58% of the grand total. Nearly 1,000 devices across the municipal landscape are serviced by the department, while $60,000 of the budget would be dedicated to their laptop replacement cycle. Cybersecurity also remains a priority, according to Melo.

The Finance Subcommittee could potentially vote on their recommendations for the budget during their meeting on Tuesday, May 14. That meeting will be held in-person at the Memorial Building and virtually on Zoom at 6 p.m.

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