Money For Odeum, Historic Cemeteries? Council Says No

by | May 12, 2014

town hall 3

When it comes to the proposed town budget of $59.8 million, most of the money is fixed – that is, agreed upon salary and benefits for school and municipal staff. The Town Council has been reviewing the rest of the municipal expenditures during recent budget sessions, including three meetings last week.

It is the smallest sums – requested, but not in the budget – that council members voted on during their meeting Thursday.

The council voted 3-2 against a $5,000 budget line for the newly formed Historic Cemetery Advisory Commission, and 4-1 against a $4,000 budget request by the Greenwich Odeum.

Councilman Mike Kiernan made a motion Thursday to add $5,000 for the cemetery commission, remarking on the town’s responsibility to its history.

Colleague Jeff Cianciolo was not moved.

“They came to us with a lot of enthusiasm and volunteerism with a very specific statement that they were not going to be asking the town for money,” he said.

Council President Michael Isaacs agreed, adding that he really wanted to avoid adding new expenses to the 2015 budget.

Coming to a vote, Kiernan and Brad Bishop voted in favor of the $5,000 addition; Isaacs, Cianciolo, and Gee voted against it.

Another request for a budget addition – $4,000 for the Greenwich Odeum – also fell on largely deaf ears. Proposed by Councilman Bishop, the motion died for lack of a second.

“We’ve worked with them. We didn’t charge/collect back taxes. I think we’ve made a significant contribution to them,” said Isaacs.

The Odeum may not be getting budget money, but three other local nonprofits remain on the budget – the East Greenwich Animal Protection League, to get $19,000, the Main Street Association, $5,000 and Summer’s End, $5,000.

The council meets again Monday, May 12. On the agenda is a vote to recommend the 2015 budget for the Financial Town Meeting in June. You can find the proposed budget – minus some revisions made at recent meetings – here.

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