Budget increase includes raises

Police requesting $240,073 more than 2013, with more hours for part-time chief

  • Lyndeborough Budget Committee members discussed the 2014 budget plan on Tuesday
  • Lyndeborough Budget Committee members discussed the 2014 budget plan on Tuesday

LYNDEBOROUGH — The town’s proposed operating budget will be $1,664,839, a 1.5 percent increase over last year’s approved budget.

Budget Committee members recommended the proposal following a public hearing attended by three residents on Tuesday.

“We’re essentially pretty flat this year,” said Budget Committee Chair Donald Guertin, who noted that the budget includes at 1.5 percent cost of living increase for all town employees.

The Police Department budget request is up by 2.4 percent, to $240,073. Guertin said the town is budgeting for just one full-time officer, rather than two, which saves the town money on health insurance. Because fewer people will be covered, the health insurance budget line went down by $5,000, even though rates increased. But the town will be paying more in wages for part-time police officers.

Police Chief Rance Deware will be working 32 hours a week, an increase from this year’s 28-hour schedule. Deware’s salary is budgeted at $54,313, up from last year’s budgeted amount of $45,820.

“We plan to have the same amount of coverage as last year,” Guertin said.

The budget for stipends for firefighters is up by $3,500, as the Budget Committee and Select Board are recommending an increase because firefighters now have to pay tax on the money.

“They do a great deal for the community,” said Kevin Boette, the Select Board representative to the committee. “You don’t want them to get less.”

Projected revenues are down, from $630,358 last year to $534,296. The town is expecting increased revenue from car registration fees, but less in federal grant money, timber taxes and interest. Last year, the town also sold tax deeded property, which brought in $19,786, that won’t be available this year.

Warrant articles include a request for $14,000 to go into a capital reserve fund for replacement of the town’s 1984 tanker. But that may change, Guertin said, because it’s unclear whether the new chassis would fit into the town garage.

“Hopefully we’ll have more information on this by Town Meeting,” Guertin said.

A request for $100,000 for repairs to Pinnacle Mountain Road is being delayed for a year. Instead, the committee is recommending $50,000 for a capital improvement fund to replace a Highway Department grader and $19,000 to start a capital improvement fund for eventual replacement of a Highway Department backhoe.

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