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ATM: 22 of 24 articles pass, budget short by $610K plus

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

SHIRLEY — The fiscal year 2009 operating budget, that took several Annual Town Meeting sessions to work through, ended up $610,918.08 in the red.

The problem — as selectman Chairman Leonardo “Chip” Guercio pointed out before the seventh and final session adjourned on Thursday night, June 26 — is there is no residual money in town coffers left to pay for a laundry list of line items voters agreed to fund. By doing so, they overshot recommended spending figures that would have resulted in a balanced budget.

Part of the total shortfall is a $221,000 School Department overage that voters agreed to fund with a tax override. But the selectmen haven’t approved a ballot question yet.

The rest of the deficit balance could become the basis for a general override, Guercio said. Another option, he and others have suggested, is to revisit the budget numbers further over the summer and balance the books in time for the special town meeting in the fall. — M.E. Jones

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