Massachusetts Mosquito Control Budget Notification & Compliance Certification Policy

 (Revised 3/4/10; 10/27/10; 12/-14/11; 2/3/14; 10/22/14; 5/17/17)

 

The State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board (“Board”) oversees mosquito control in Massachusetts under the authority granted by M.G.L. Chapter 252 and the several Acts of the Legislature creating mosquito control projects/districts (“Projects”) throughout the Commonwealth.  Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 252, Section 5A, the Board must certify Project budgets to ensure that an appropriate level of funding is available to implement the work and improvements undertaken by the Projects under the authority of the Board.  Since the Project’s budgets, with limited exception for the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project, are not voted on or approved by member municipalities, the Board has established this Budget Notification and Compliance Certification Policy (“Policy”) to ensure the budget development process is transparent.

 

Prior to FY 2002, funding for the Projects and the Board had been subject to appropriation by the Legislature and listed as line items within the budget of the Department of Food and Agriculture budget, now the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (“MDAR”).  Thereafter, funding for mosquito control has been by assessing proportionately each Project’s member municipalities as deductions from local aid, as reported on the Cherry Sheet, which is the official notification from the Massachusetts Commissioner of the Department of Revenue (“DOR”) of state aid and assessments to municipalities and regional school districts in the upcoming fiscal year. The only operating Project that does not receive funding this way is the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project, which is funded through voluntary contributions made by each member municipality through legally approved appropriations.

 

As a result of these changes, Projects now submit proposed budgets to the Board for review and certification to the Office of the Comptroller (“Comptroller”) as required by M.G.L. c. 252, Section 5A. [1]

After each of the Project budgets are certified by the Board and submitted to the Comptroller, a proportionate share of the total Project budget is deducted from each member municipality’s local aid distribution and deposited in the corresponding trust account for each Project, which are administered by the Board. [2] State funding of the Projects and the Board now functions as “trust fund” expenditures, which are reviewed and certified by the Board to ensure that expenditures for the fiscal year do not exceed related assessments. 

 

Since the Board is required by law to certify the amounts to be deducted from local aid, it is the duty of the Board to assure itself that the member municipalities support the proposed Project budgets.  Ultimately, the Board must make certain that the budgets are an appropriate use of public money through a transparent process.

 

To this end, it is the policy of this Board, in making its certification of Project budgets, to require that each Project's budget comply with the following:

 

a. The format be uniform and in compliance with the Board's format for submission of spending plans and budget requests. This includes providing the total rollover amount available to the Project from the previous fiscal year and the justification for the rollover amount (future capital expenditures, rent increases, new hires, etc.).  

 

b. The Project must notify all member municipalities on an annual basis of the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year (“FY”) using the attached Preliminary Budget Form, SRB Form-1 (“Notice). A copy of the Notice and the online location where it can be located must be sent by first class mail or, if preferred by the member municipality, by email to the chief administrative officer or chief executive office [3] of the member municipality, the finance committee of each member municipality having a finance committee, with a copy being sent to those town officials with whom the Project conducts its usual course of business (board of selectmen, board of health, etc.).  The notification should also provide that any questions or concerns regarding Project's budgets be directed to the Project and/or the Chair of the Board and include the contact information for both.  Proof of such mailing and/or emailing shall satisfy the Board’s requirements that each member municipality be given the Notice and an opportunity to comment prior to certification by the Board.

 

c. For those Projects that are funded through voluntary contributions, the Project shall demonstrate that it provided and obtained, or will obtain, appropriations for each member municipality’s contribution prior to certification. In the event that a member municipality has not yet appropriated the funds, certification by the Board may contain the condition that such appropriation is legally made.

 

d. The Project is required to provide the Board with any communications received indicating either support or opposition to the proposed budget.

 

e. All budgets, both proposed and certified, must be made publicly available online on both the Board and Project’s websites in accordance with M.G.L. c. 66, the Massachusetts Public Records Law. All budget documents, including justification letters for budget requests greater than a 2.5% increase, should be included with the online posting. Budget information must remain posted in accordance with M.G.L. c. 66 and the retention schedules established thereunder.

 

The Board reserves the right not to certify a Project's budget pending full compliance with the aforementioned policy.  

 

The Board is confident that this policy will facilitate the Board’s budget certification responsibility by ensuring that each Project budget has been thoroughly vetted at the local level through a transparent process.  The Board will give strong consideration to the expression of local support for a Project budget, if such support is received. In the event that a Project receives opposition, the Board may ask for additional information regarding the reason for such opposition prior to certification.

 

Budget Certification Timeline

 

In order to finalize its certification in the shortest time possible and to facilitate communications between the Project and member municipalities, the Board has established the following budgetary activities timeline:

 

a. August/September: The Project(s) submit with spending plans the proposed preliminary budget estimate for the coming fiscal year to the Finance Manager.  The preliminary budget estimate must have attached a clear and concise narrative that documents anticipated spending and provides rational for the proposed preliminary budget estimate if it exceeds a level funding amount as required by the Executive Office of Administration and Finance.

 

b. September/October:  The Finance Manager forwards proposed preliminary budget estimates including but not limited to other spending information such as narratives, historical funding data, balance forward data to the SRB Operations Coordinator and Board.

 

c. October/ November/December: The Board reviews Project’s proposed preliminary budget estimates.  The Board will initiate discussions, pose questions, request clarification at meetings on an as needed basis.

 

d. December/January (prior to Governor’s House 1 budget posting): The SRB Operations Coordinator submits to the Department of Revenue, Division of Local Services (DOR) the Project’s proposed preliminary budget estimates in order to prepare  estimated cherry sheet assessments to be published in the Governor’s House 1 Budget.

 

e. February-April: The Board further reviews budgets and can deliberate on an as needed basis and or at its regularly scheduled meetings.

 

f. May-June: The Board, at its annual budget meeting, votes formally to certify final Projects total budget amount and the SRB Operations Coordinator submits to DOR.

 

___________________________________

[1] M.G.L. c. 252, Section 5A establishes, in part, the following: “The board shall annually certify to the comptroller that expenditures for the fiscal year do not exceed related assessments. The certification shall not give the board the authority to modify the budget approved by a mosquito control project without the mosquito control project's approval.”

 

[2] The Board’s funding as deemed necessary to the state reclamation board’s successful operation works in the same manner for the purpose of carrying out its mandate pursuant to the state mosquito control statute (Chapter 252, section 5A of the MGL). It is not an assessment to each Project. Instead, it is an independent assessment made directly to the member municipalities and therefore need not be included in Mosquito Project Operational Budgeting procedures.


[3] M.G.L. c. 4, Section 7: "Chief administrative officer'', when used in connection with the operation of municipal governments, shall include the mayor of a city and the board of selectmen in a town unless some other local office is designated to be the chief administrative officer under the provisions of a local charter.

 Fifth B, "Chief executive officer'', when used in connection with the operation of municipal governments shall include the mayor in a city and the board of selectmen in a town unless some other municipal office is designated to be the chief executive officer under the provisions of a local charter.

 


Information about the state's budget and cherry sheets can be found: https://www.mass.gov/municipal-databank-data-analytics




Budgets

PCMCP FY19 Proposed Budget Notification.pdf 824.9KB
FY2018 SPENDING PLAN.pdf 380.5KB
FY2019 SPENDING PLAN.pdf 373.6KB