Nonprofit donations moved to Dublin warrant

  • Dublin's Budget Committee held a public hearing on the town's proposed 2013 budget on Feb. 12 at the Town Hall.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Dublin's Budget Committee held a public hearing on the town's proposed 2013 budget on Feb. 12 at the Town Hall.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

DUBLIN — Town officials have removed $6,246 in donations to local nonprofit agencies and more than $137,000 in road improvement costs from the proposed 2013 operating budget, and are instead asking voters to approve the expenses in separate warrant articles this March.

The move comes a year after the Budget Committee axed $1,250 in contributions to two local nonprofits — Southwestern Community Services and Big Brothers, Big Sisters — from its proposed budget. Voters at the 2012 Town Meeting amended the budget to include the $1,250 and to continue Dublin’s long-standing practice of supporting nonprofit agencies.

While the Select Board is once again backing the donations for 2013, the Budget Committee is not. At Tuesday’s public hearing at the Dublin Town Hall, Budget Committee Chair Dale Gabel said members of the committee believe “charity should be a matter of private conscience.” He said public money should be spent for public services.

But it will be up to voters to make the final decision this March. By proposing to fund charitable contributions in a warrant article, town officials said there is greater transparency and more of an opportunity for voters to participate in the approval process.

The Budget Committee presented a 2013 operating budget of $1,841,671 — an increase of $26,546 over the approved 2012 operating budget — to just a handful of voters in attendance Tuesday night. The budget is recommended by both the Select Board and Budget Committee.

This year’s budget proposal is up just 1.5 percent, but that’s because town officials chose to reallocate approximately $137,000 in road improvement costs from the budget to warrant articles, according to Town Administrator Sherry Miller. The budget would otherwise show an increase of 9 percent, she said.

Construction of 600 feet of sidewalk along Route 101, or Main Street, which is slated to cost the town $32,275, is among the proposed projects.

Installation of a $40,000 gallon cistern for firefighting is slated to cost $101,381, but Fire Chief Thomas Vanderbilt said Wednesday that grant funds will pay for 50 percent, or $50,690.

“Our 50 percent is a soft-match, meaning town equipment and personnel will be used to install the cistern,” Vanderbilt said, meaning the town’s portion will covered by in-house labor.

The cistern will be located underground and between the Dublin Post Office and Dublin General Store. The area was identified years ago as high-risk due to the historic nature of the buildings there, Vanderbilt said.

“There is a small pond on Main Street, but that has failed and there is no way to improve that,” he said of nearby water sources.

The biggest ticket item on this year’s warrant asks voters to purchase a 10-wheel dump truck to replace a 1993 dump truck in the town’s Highway Department. The truck is expected to cost the town $202,445, with $130,000 proposed to be withdrawn from the Heavy Highway Equipment Capital Reserve Fund. The town plans to trade in its 1993 truck to help cover the costs; the trade in value is $12,500, according to town officials.

Other articles on the 2013 town warrant include $39,223 to purchase and equip a 2013 police cruiser; $14,779 to purchase and install a salt barn at the Highway Department; $9,500 for various expendable trust funds; and $4,400 to fund the operation and publication of The Dublin Advocate. The final warrant article asks voters to accept four cemetery trust funds totaling $1,175.

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.

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