June 18, 2024

Rehoboth Approves $38M Budget

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Voters approved a $38.5 Million budget for the next fiscal year at Tuesday’s Town Meeting.

That includes $14,173,286 for Town Government, $22,902,269 for the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District, and $1,459,029 for Regional Vocational Schools (Bristol Plymouth & Bristol Agricultural).

Also approved was a $200,000 appropriation for the town’s ambulance service, which has been experiencing financial difficulties.

The service operated at a loss of $212,000 in 2023. This year, that number could rise as high as $351,000. Rehoboth Ambulance is a private non-profit corporation under contract to the town.

“The amount of money that it costs us to operate the ambulance per call is about $718.76 for 2023,” Deputy Director of Operations Reuben Fischman explained. “In 2023, we only received $564 for transport.”

Over 50 percent of the patients that are transported are on Medicare or Mass Health, which reduces the revenues.

“We’re constrained by what we’re allowed to bill by Medicare regulations and by what private insurance is willing to pay,” Fischman told the Reporter last month.

The town provides housing for the ambulances, which is a huge help financially. But the committee still has to pay for the vehicles, vehicle maintenance, fuel costs, and the salaries of the staff.

Jay Talerman, the town’s legal counsel, said town officials were trying “how to make this work financially.”

“This is just to make sure that all of our bases are covered if we can’t close the gap. There are no decisions made to get rid of Rehoboth Ambulance,” Talerman added.

Other articles which were approved include:
• $300,000 appropriated for the construction of a new playground at Francis Farm.
• $45,000 for a phone system upgrade at Beckwith Middle School, Palmer River Elementary School, and Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School.
• Transfer from free cash the amount of $750,000 into the Capital Stabilization Fund. The money will be used to address capital needs.
• Transfer from free cash the amount of $342, 430 into the Cannabis Stabilization Fund.
• Appropriation of $330,000 into the PEG Access Cable Fund.
• Land purchase of 14 acres at 44 Bliss Street by the Community Preservation Committee.
• Land purchase of 34 acres at 165 Fairview Avenue by the CPC.
• New street acceptances – O’Hern Way, Dublin Road, Skyla Way, Kaylee Drive, Primrose Lane, Linden Lane, and Willow Way

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