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Proposed operating budget is up $25,229

Warrant not yet finalized, but more than $500,000 in warrant articles so far proposed

Jaffrey’s proposed 2014 total budget is $9,704,341, an increase of $105,474 over 2013, according to documents distributed at the Select Board’s meeting on Tuesday.

The operating budget is proposed at $5,817,813, $25,229 more than last year. And so far, there are 33 warrant articles proposed, totaling $522,810, up $125,185 over 2013. But the town has until Feb. 4 to finalize the warrant.

Two-year contracts with the two local unions, if approved, would mean police officers would see $13,642 more in wages and benefits for the 2014 fiscal year and $13,913 more in 2015; and $14,668 more for Department of Public Works employees in 2014 and $14,962 more in 2015.

In the budget, there is some proposed restructuring reflected. Police Department special details, for example, would be removed from the operating budget.

Due to the difficulty of estimating the level of special details needed from year-to-year, a revolving fund has been proposed, pending voter approval. A recreation revolving fund had previously been approved by voters.

A new Fire Department command vehicle for $56,000 is proposed in warrant article 19, with $26,000 to come from the Fire Department Equipment Capital Reserve Fund.

Warrant article 14 seeks to raise and appropriate $24,500 to be added to the property revaluation capital reserve fund. This includes the ongoing expense to reevaluate 25 percent of the properties in Jaffrey annually, allowing the town to successfully conduct the necessary property evaluations by the 2015 deadline.

The town’s Water Department budget will increase $35,437. The increase in the Water Department budget would allow the town to replace the supervisory control and data acquisition computer. The computer provides data and controls the performance of the water system. In 2013, the debt payment for improvements of the town’s water system was $109,557. In 2014 that number will drop to $93,689.

Warrant article 10 proposes that the town raise $1,106,739 for the Water Department, and $1,855,195 or the Sewer Department. The total of $2,961,934 is to be funded through user fees and other non-property tax resources.

The Highway Department has two proposed warrant articles. One would raise $100,000 to replace the 2003 1-ton dump truck. The old truck will be given to the Recreation Department. Another article calls for $150,000 for a new backhoe, with $50,000 from the Water Fund, $50,000 from the Sewer Fund and $50,000 through taxation. The town’s old backhoe would be traded in to help with the cost.

The Department of Public Works is also seeking to hire a new part-time employee to assist in-house as well as externally. The position requires a $13,000 addition to the operation budget.

Article 25 proposes that the town raise $30,000 to support the nonprofit Jaffrey-Rindge Memorial Ambulance service.

The Budget Committee will hold a budget hearing at the Fire Station on Feb. 8 at 9 a.m.

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