DUBLIN

$137K article calls for road work

DUBLIN — The Budget Committee plans to present a 2013 proposed operating budget of $1,841,671 — an increase of $26,546 over the approved 2012 operating budget — to voters at a public hearing Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

The budget proposal represents a 1.5 percent increase, said Town Administrator Sherry Miller on Wednesday, but that number does not provide the full picture. The Select Board and Budget Committee opted to remove more than $137,000 in road improvement costs from the proposed operating budget, Miller said, and will instead ask voters to approve a warrant article to fund them.

“If that hadn’t been done, we’d be looking at about a 9 percent increase [in the budget],” Miller said.

By removing the $137,000 from the budget, Miller said town officials felt that they would provide voters with greater transparency and more of an opportunity to participate in the approval process. Sidewalk improvements on Main Street and paving of Upper Jaffrey Road are two of the projects slated for 2013, Miller said.

Additional increases to the budget include $20,000 for repairs to the Dublin Fire Department’s tanker, a $4,500 increase in part-time wages for help at the Town Hall, as well as increases in health insurance costs and contributions to the N.H. State Retirement system.

“We are also giving a 2 percent cost of living increase to all town employees,” Miller said.

The Dublin Police Department is currently recruiting a full-time officer to fill the position left behind by Officer Joel Chidester, who recently accepted a position with the Keene Police Department. That combined with the fact that Police Chief James Letourneau is of retirement age, prompted town officials to budget $15,000 for recruitment services, Miller said.

“[Letourneau] is not leaving,” she said, explaining the money is in the budget as a precaution.

The Select Board is meeting Monday night to review the town warrant and make its final recommendations. Until that time, Miller declined to share with the Ledger-Transcript a draft of the town warrant.

The Budget Committee will then meet prior to its public hearing at the Town Hall on Tuesday night to make any last minute changes to the warrant based on input it receives from the Select Board, Miller said.

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

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