Skip to content




GROTON — The average homeowner likely will pay an additional $216 in property taxes if the town manager wins support for a spending plan for the fiscal year that starts in July.

Town Manager Mark Haddad is proposing a $37.4 million budget for fiscal 2017, including an operational budget of $34.4 million, a 3.2 percent increase in spending from fiscal 2016. This is $25,781 below the maximum spending allowed under the Proposition 2 1/2 levy limit, which includes additional tax revenue from projected $17 million in “new growth” next year.

In the end, the proposed budget would increase the property tax rate to $19.32 per $1,000 valuation from $18.78 currently, requiring average homeowners with property assessed at $400,000 to pay an additional $216 in taxes.

The budget was developed with selectmen’s and the Finance Committee’s consensus to keep the total annual spending increase to 2.2 percent or below in mind, according to Haddad’s budget proposal. The board and committee also directed town officials to start planning for a fiscally sustainable future.

“I am pleased to report that the proposed Fiscal Year 2017 operating budget meets this objective and allows the town to continue to provide the same level of services that it currently receives,” Haddad wrote.

Selectmen Chairman Jack Petropoulos said on Thursday that the 2.2 percent increase target is for the town budget excluding school spending. The town manager’s budget satisfies that goal, which is “significant” and a step in the right direction, Petropoulos said.

“My hat’s off to Mark for getting there,” Petropoulos said.

Haddad’s budget provides for an additional $776,100, or a 4.54 percent increase in the town’s annual contribution toward the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District. The budget also includes $41,881 to pay for additional overtime pay for the Police Department to step up traffic control and enforcement and for the training of police officers.

Many of the complaints that the Police Department receives are traffic-related, according to Haddad. Police Chief Donald Palma has proposed to hire a traffic officer to exclusively tackle the issues, given that the construction of the Shirdi Sai temple on Boston Road and Indian Hill Music’s anticipated expansion into Groton as well as some additional commercial activities on Main Street will likely add to the traffic problems, Haddad wrote.

But, the town cannot afford to increase staffing for fiscal 2017, he said, adding that the additional overtime pay will help the police deal with the issue.

The training of officers are also necessarily as most of them have not received any training beyond police academies, Haddad wrote.

In addition, Haddad hopes to add a full-time custodial position in lieu of a private contractor who works for the Groton Country Club, the Groton Electric Light Department and at the transfer station. Having this contractor helped reduced overtime costs, Haddad wrote. Though making it a permanent position costs taxpayers $18,623 upfront after the GELD’s $12,480 contribution toward the position, Haddad believes it would eventually help further reduce overtime pays in various areas.