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Mason

Salary increases drive budget plan

MASON — The Mason Select Board continued its review of the proposed budget for the upcoming year on Tuesday, with wage increases a common factor. Modest salary increases for some employees were submitted by department heads this year.

In additional, voters may get to weigh in on several warrant articles requesting new town vehicles or machinery.

Continuing a review of the budget from Dec. 3, the Select Board met on Tuesday to go over proposals with multiple town departments prior to its regular board meeting on Tuesday.

The Financial Administration budget is up by 11 percent this year, a $8,400 increase compared to last year’s budget of $77,976. The main contributors to the increase are administrative salary, which is up from $39,000 in 2013 to a proposed $41,000 in the coming year, and part-time salary, which increased by $1,500.

The budget for the building inspector also rose slightly this year, from $19,299 to a proposed $22,050. Again, an increase in wages is the main contributor, with the proposed budget requesting $15,000 for salary, where in 2013, wages were budgeted at $12,730.

Proposed capital expenditures for the coming year include a backhoe, which is expected to cost $88,000, a police cruiser for $27,000, road improvements for $50,000, and self-contained breathing apparatus bottles for the Fire Department for $4,320. Also expected to be requested via warrant article are a $10,000 addition to the Fire Department building capital reserve and $9,000 to the Police Department’s cruiser capital reserve.

Previously, the board reviewed the Fire Department budget, proposed at $67,177, a 10 percent increase attributed to a $5,000 increase to allow for physicals for the department’s firefighters. The police department budget is also proposed to rise by $13,000, with wages and technology expenses accounting for the majority of the increase.

Debt services are proposed to decrease by 12 percent, projected at $78,688, with both principal and interest payments on bonds and notes decreasing this year by a total of nearly $11,000.

The Select Board will present the budget in its entirety during a budget hearing in January, the Select Board said.

The Select Board meets at the Mann House every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaari.

"Modest salary increases for some employees were submitted..." and then there is the building inspector's salary increase which is more than 10%. Must be nice to ask for such a large percentage increase when so many townspeople are still struggling.

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