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LYNDEBOROUGH

First look at fire,  library budgets

LYNDEBOROUGH — Select Board members reviewed early worksheets for 2013 budgets for the library and Fire Departments at their Dec. 5 meeting.

The Fire Department budget for 2012 could go up by about 3 percent, but Fire Chief Rick McQuade is hoping to make additional cuts to bring that number down.

At a Dec. 5 meeting with the Select Board, McQuade reviewed a budget worksheet that initially called for $77,836, a 4.5 percent increase. During the discussion, the board and McQuade agreed on changes that brought the proposal down to $76,806. They reduced the heating fuel budget from $5,000 to $3,200, based on expected lower prices for propane, while adding $480 to provide cell phone service for on-call fire officers.

They also added $500 for gas and diesel fuel to McQuade’s initial request for $2,000. The town has actually spent just over $3,000 for gas and diesel to date, largely due to the large volume of calls this year.

“I really don’t anticipate 190 calls next year,” McQuade said, but he agreed with Board Chair Arnie Byam’s suggestion to budget $2,500 rather than $2,000.

The board and McQuade also agreed to cut an additional $210 in building maintenance items.

McQuade said he had increased the reimbursement line by $1,000 because, not only had calls increased, but more firefighters were responding. He also increased the training budget by $1,900, which will help fund a first responder course that 10 firefighters have expressed interest in attending. McQuade said one benefit of the course will be the ability to get trucks out more quickly on a call, since the trucks don’t leave until a first responder is available.

McQuade said he’ll be reviewing the budget again prior to meeting with the town’s Budget Committee.

The board also reviewed a first draft of the library budget, which is up 1.5 percent, mostly due to a proposed salary increase that is subject to vote by the library trustees, according to library trustee Bob Rogers.

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or danderson@ledgertranscript.com. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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