The fiscal year of the Town shall begin on the first day of July and end on the last day of the following June. The fiscal year shall also constitute the budget and account year.
There shall be a Budget Board of seven members, appointed by the Council who shall at the time of their appointment and during the term of service be qualified electors of the Town. The members appointed by the Council shall serve for three years for staggered terms. Vacancies shall be filled by the Council to serve out the remaining term of the member whose departure created the vacancy. Members shall be eligible for reappointment. The Board may choose a chairperson and vice-chairperson from its membership and prescribe its own procedures.
Duties. The Budget Board shall:
Receive and examine all requests for capital and operating expenditures submitted by the Departments, Commissions, Offices and Agencies of Town government, including the School Department.
Hold such hearings as may be necessary to provide the opportunity for all Department Heads, Town Officials and Agencies submitting estimates to appear before the Board to explain and justify their requests. The Board shall provide opportunity for any citizen who desires to do so to address the Board on any pertinent matter consistent with the procedural rules established by the Board.
Submit to the Council no later than the third Thursday in March its recommendations regarding all requests for appropriations which have been submitted for its review together with revenue estimates and the projected tax levy required to support the budget recommendation. For budgeting purposes, anticipated revenues shall include: State, Federal and Department revenues in detail, surplus revenues and the amount to be raised by taxes.
All estimates for capital and operating expenditures by Departments, Commissions, Offices and Agencies of Town government for the ensuing fiscal year shall be submitted to the Budget Board no later than January 2 in each year.
The Council shall review the recommendations of the Budget Board and make such changes in the various expenditure requests as it sees fit; provided, however, that the Council shall not have the authority to change any item in the School Department expenditure request except the overall total amount. The budget proposal as presented by the Budget Board will include separate listings and totals of the capital and operating appropriations requested respectively; comparisons with budget and projected expenditures for the current fiscal year, budgeted and projected revenues for the same; a projected tax rate for the Town taking into consideration changes in the tax base, a detailed listing of funds anticipated from the State and Federal government and other sources; a report of findings and recommendations as the Budget Board may provide.
The Council shall hold a Public Hearing on its preliminary recommended budget prior to its adoption, which hearing must be at least 21 days prior to the Financial Town Referendum Sufficient copies of the budget shall be made available by the Town Clerk for the use of all Offices, Departments and Agencies and for the use of interested persons.
The Council shall adopt a recommended budget for presentation to the Financial Town Referendum not later than 15 days preceding its date. No revenue from any source other than the tax levy shall be included in the budget as recommended by the Council unless the facts clearly warrant the expectation that such amount will be realized as cash during the fiscal year.
A copy of the budget as finally adopted by Financial Town Referendum shall be certified by the Town Clerk and filed in the Office of the Director of Finance. Sufficient copies thereof shall be made available by the Town Clerk for the use of all Offices, Departments and Agencies and for the use of interested persons.
Within three months after the beginning of each fiscal year, in accordance with State Law, the Council by Resolution shall arrange for an independent audit of the books, accounts, and other evidences of financial transactions of the Town and of the School Department as of the close of the preceding fiscal year, to be conducted either by State Auditors or by a certified public accountant holding a certificate from the State and having no personal interest in the financial transactions of the Town. Such examinations shall conform with generally accepted auditing standards and shall include all procedures necessary for the auditors to express an informed opinion of the financial practices and accounts. A copy of the audit report shall be filed with the Town Clerk and shall be public record.
Borrowing in anticipation of taxes shall require the approval of the Town Council, by Resolution, in accordance with existing State law.
In the event that no budget shall have been approved at a Financial Town Referendum by the start of the fiscal year, the Departments, Commissions, Offices and Agencies of the Town shall have the authority to continue making expenditures at the rates authorized in the budget of the previous fiscal year until such time as a new budget shall have been adopted. The spending shall be at 1/12 of the previous year's total budget per month.
Each Department, including the School Department, shall prepare and submit to the Budget Board a three-year capital plan as part of the expenditure request by January 2 prior to the ensuing budget year.
Each capital program shall include:
A clear general summary of its contents.
A list of all capital improvements which are proposed to be undertaken during the three years next ensuing together with supporting information as to the necessity for the expenditure.
Cost estimates and suggested methods of financing.
The calendar quarter of the fiscal year the expenditure is expected.
The estimated annual cost for operating and maintaining the facilities to be constructed or acquired.
The capital program may be revised and extended each year with regard to capital improvements still pending or in process of construction or acquisition.
Public Hearing on Capital Program. The Council shall give notice by one or more methods of general circulation in the Town giving a general summary of the Capital Program and stating the time and place where copies of the Capital Programs are available for inspection by the public, and the time and place, not less than two weeks after such notice, for a Public Hearing on the Capital Program. The Council shall adopt the Capital Program with or without amendment after Public Hearing and not later than 15 days preceding the Financial Town Referendum. Copies of the Capital Program as adopted shall be public record and shall be made available to the public in suitable places in Town.
There shall be an annual addition to the amount appropriated by the Financial Town Referendum equivalent to 2% of the amount appropriated as an operating budget approved at the meeting, as a capital reserve fund. Such appropriation, and the addition of the same to the amount to be raised by taxation, shall be made by operation of this section of the Charter, without the necessity of any vote or any other action by the Town. Such amount and any accumulations shall be held and invested by the Town Treasurer as a separate fund, and from time to time any amount from such fund may be expended upon authorization by an annual or Special Financial Town Referendum for the purchase of improvements set forth in the Capital Program.
There shall be appropriated to the Glocester Land Trust 75% of the revenue generated from the payment of Real Estate Conveyance Taxes in the current fiscal year based upon receipts for the prior fiscal year.
To meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property or the public peace, the Council may make emergency appropriations. Such appropriations may be made by emergency Ordinance in accordance with the provisions of Article IV, § C4-10, Item 5 of this Charter. To the extent that there are not available unappropriated revenues to meet such appropriations, the Council may, by such emergency Ordinance, authorize the issuance of emergency notes, which may be renewed from time to time, but the emergency notes and renewals thereof shall be paid not later than the last day of the fiscal year thereof next succeeding that in which the emergency appropriation was made.
Every appropriation, except an appropriation for a capital expenditure, shall lapse at the close of a fiscal year to the extent that it has not been expended or encumbered. An appropriation for a capital expenditure shall continue in force until the purpose for which it was made has been accomplished or abandoned; the purpose of any such appropriation shall be deemed abandoned in two fiscal years following the date the appropriation passed without any disbursement from or encumbrance of the appropriation.
All fees received by any office or employee of the Town shall belong to the Town and shall be paid to the Town Treasurer at such intervals as the Council may require, except otherwise provided in this Charter.
The minimum unreserved general fund balance the Town shall maintain shall be not less than 12% of the total annual Town proposed expenditures for the next fiscal year.
The Town Treasurer is authorized, with Town Council approval, to transfer funds from Restricted, Committed, and Assigned Fund Balances to the General Fund in an amount necessary to cover expenditures incurred and related to the purposes pursuant to the constraints imposed on the use of those fund balances.
A portion of the General Fund balance shall be reserved for encumbrances outstanding on June 30 each year. Said list of encumbrances, if any, shall be submitted by the Town Treasurer to the Town Council for approval and the Town Council may re-authorize those funds for the ensuing fiscal year.