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Town of Washington facing major cut to alleviate budget deficit

Posted at 12:04 AM, Aug 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-20 01:04:53-04

WASHINGTON — Dozens of people filled Washington Town Hall Monday night as the mayor and council met for a regularly scheduled meeting.

Many were anxious to hear how the town council will pass a budget with a deficit of $600,000.

According to Colin Murphy, who is volunteering to manage the town's finances, the town's major source of revenue was speeding tickets.

"There are many others who are trying to figure out other revenue sources that can be brought into town, so they don't become a 'speed trap' town," said Colin Murphy.

Murphy is suggesting cuts in several areas.

"What we need to do is cut the amount of money that's spent and the amount of money that's spent both for the police, for the town administration, and, to a certain degree, the utilities," said Murphy.

As it stands, one of those cuts includes closing the town's library next year.

"What I'm hopeful is that the town will come forward and say, 'We want this library. We want this amenity for the town. Therefore, we need to find ways, even if it's a day a week or two days a week that the library can remain open," said Murphy.

The town has been operating in a deficit for the past six years and has been under oversight from a legislative auditor.

Murphy says he's confident they will pass a budget without the legislative auditors taking over.

"A: It's reducing costs. B: [It's] raising revenue where we can and finding new revenue resources," suggested Murphy.

The council will meet for special session on September 16. If the budget is approved, council members will vote on it during the council meeting that will follow.