Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Finance Committee, March 20, 2024

Insurance Budget

Insurance and Employment Mitigation

The meeting addressed an increase in insurance expenditure, particularly for group health insurance. The proposed budget for group health insurance was $15,472,128 due to hikes in the insurance costs from the Commonwealth’s GIC. The employment mitigation also went up notably, attributed to underfunding in recent years and to protect employees with exorbitant medical expenses due to the switch to the GIC.

Insurance Liability and Property Insurance

The insurance official’s liability (directors and officers) and property insurance both experienced a slight increase.


The offsets for the insurance budget include contributions from enterprise funds, and a motion was made approving a $22,761,873 budget for insurance. The committee also addressed transferring the remaining balance of $127,655 from the Health Benefit Trust Fund to the general fund as an offset to health insurance costs. This led to an increase in the offset amount to $1,276,177 and a new total budget of $22,634,217. This change was unanimously approved.

Committee Budgets

Water Bodies Working Group

The committee discussed the Water Bodies Working Group budget request for $120,000. After deliberation, the committee decided on a reduced budget of $85,000. This decision considered the group’s fund balance and the necessity to balance the budget against the unexpected increase in requests.

Scenic Byway Committee

The Scenic Byway Committee requested a budget increase to $5,000 primarily to update its website in connection with the 250th anniversary activities. After discussion about website management concerns and costs, a motion to approve the budget increase passed with substantial support.

Disability Commission

For the Disability Commission, which requested $20,000 and had not shown significant changes in its requested budget, it was recommended to continue funding at this level, considering the challenges with the commission’s activities and membership.

Arlington 250th Committee

The Arlington 250th Committee reduced their budget request by $25,000 to accommodate the funding needs of other projects like the library grant. The committee approved the reduced budget request.

Human Rights Commission

The Human Rights Commission sought an increase of $2,500 to obtain their own email system. Concerns were discussed about the appropriateness of non-town email use and privacy issues. The committee concluded to maintain the level funding without the increase for the email system. The motion for level funding was approved with one vote against.

Ongoing Discussion

The committee acknowledged that they have items left to address, including the Prudent Investor warrant article, FY24 amendments, and the school budget. There is anticipation that more funds may need to be drawn from the reserve fund to cover a budget shortfall for schools. The next meeting is expected to handle the remainder of the agenda items.



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