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NARRAGANSETT, R.I. — The Narragansett Town Council is holding work sessions this week and next to review the proposed $61.6 million town budget for 2019-20.

Acting Town Manager Sean Corrigan reduced about $1 million from the budget after meeting with department heads, Finance Director Laura Kenyon said. But the document still faces Town Council review.

“The departments work from a zero base, and have to justify every dollar they’ve requested in their budgets,” Kenyon said. “This is not the final budget for the 19-20 fiscal year. The Town Council will review the document and meet with the departments for that final version.”

Most of the $1 million reduction comes from capital improvement line items, Kenyon said.

The total increase currently is about $2.2 million, or 3.7 percent, over the current year’s budget.

Of the $61.6 million, $35.2 million is allocated to town operations. School operations funded by tax dollars total $26.4 million, Kenyon said.

The residential tax rate is projected to increase by 36 cents, to $10.31 for each $1,000 of assessed property, up from the current $9.95.

For a home valued at $500,000, it translates to an annual tax increase of $180, or $15 per month on their tax bill, Kenyon said.

Notable items in the budget include increased capital spending to keep roads and buildings maintained, plus a fully-funded contribution to pension and post-retirement funds.

The budget also does not include new positions.

The tax levy is at the state-mandated cap of a 4 percent annual increase, resulting in a 3.6 percent increase in taxes, Kenyon said.

Narragansett also would use part of its fund balance reserve to cover some of the capital expenditures, but it would still leave the town reserve at about 12 percent.

Personnel spending is set to increase by about $820,000, while debt service – what the town pays on bonds and other financing - is up $594,000. Capital is set to rise about $395,000, while the town’s share of school spending would increase by $337,000.

The council and School Committee will meet April 29 to discuss the budget. A second public hearing on the final budget will take place May 6. By ordinance, adoption of the budget must take place by June 3.

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