Town Manager Kevin Dumas suggested this week the town consider charging for trash service.

The town currently has $1,076,000 to trim to balance its proposed fiscal 2019 budget of $97 million, Dumas reported during a budget meeting Wednesday, Feb. 14 with the Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee and School Committee.

Dumas said he would be meeting with department heads in the coming weeks and going through the budget for more reductions. The town has already reduced health insurance increases to about 5 percent by changing to a new purchasing group.

The town is also looking at fees it charges for services to see if they cover the cost of providing them.

“I’m asking you to be able to look at fee proposals across the board,” Dumas said.

Mansfield currently has no fee for trash and recycling services.

In 2000, voters passed an operational override of Prop. 2 ½, raising the tax levy by about $900,000. The amount covered the town’s trash and recycling program, freeing up other funds for the general budget.

Today, the town’s trash and recycling program costs $1.7 million a year to operate, Dumas said.

It is also time for the town to sign a new trash contract, Dumas said.

Area municipalities with pay-as-you-go trash programs include Easton, Foxborough, Attleboro, North Attleboro, Norfolk, Plainville and Wrentham. Norton does not provide trash pickup and residents there contract with private haulers.

In pay-as-you-go programs, residents pay for trash service, but recycling is free. This encourages more recycling and reduces the amount of tonnage the town pays to dispose of reducing overall costs.

Dumas described Mansfield’s budget as “extremely, extremely” tight and said addressing it now will allow the town and school departments to have the funds to meet future challenges.

Selectman Steve Schoonveld said he supported looking at the cost of every service the town provides.

He said he was “hesitant” to say it’s time to collect for rubbish and recycling, but was willing to discuss it.

Ambulance fees are another area being reviewed by Fire Chief Neal Boldrighini, Finance Director John Stanbrook and Dumas.

“The amount we charge for ambulance fees does not cover what it cost to provide that service,” Dumas said.

School Committee Chairman Keira O’Neil said the schools are also reviewing all their fees.

The proposed school budget for FY19 is $50.7 million, a 3.3 percent increase which officials are looking to reduce to a 2.8 percent increase. It includes no additional staff requests.

“There are four positions we would like to add but at this point we can’t see adding these,” Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations Edward Donoghue.

Donoghue said the department is looking cutting costs by returning to in-house custodial staff instead of the recent move to outside contractors.

“I’m confident we can get down to (a) 2.8 percent (increase),” he said.