Antrim proposed operating budget almost $10,000 less than last year

  • Antrim Select Board chair Robert Edwards discusses a warrant article during Monday's budget hearing.  Staff photo By Nicholas Handy

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 6:55PM

Antrim’s proposed operating budget is almost $10,000 less than last year’s approved figure. 

Town Administrator Donna Hanson said at Monday night’s budget hearing that a decrease in health insurance benefits, a 6.4 percent decrease in the library budget and not having a few positions filled were part of what lead to the town’s $4,140,016 proposed operating budget, which is a $8,596 or .21 percent decrease from last year. 

“The library will use trust fund earning to supplement the budget if needed,” Hanson said. 

Many of the articles on the ballot this year were explained by selectmen with little or no questioning by the audience. 

Two bridge projects will appear on this year’s warrant. 

Article four asks voters approve taking $220,000 from the unassigned fund balance to replace the Pleasant Street culvert. 

Road Agent Jim Plourde said the culvert will be replaced with a wooden bridge, as the state won’t allow for the culvert to be replaced with another culvert. 

Plourde said the bridge would be a wooden structure with a paved deck. 

“You won’t even realize it’s made out of wood,” Plourde said. 

An article also seeks to pull $100,000 from the unassigned fund balance to replace the Hilton Avenue Bridge, a town-owned bridge that only served one house at the corner of Hilton Avenue and Grove Street. 

Selectman Michael Genest said the town will replace the bridge with another wooden bridge and that having the town pay for a wooden bridge is cheaper than using the state’s aid program. 

Six capital reserve funds will be replenished if voters approve one article: $100,000 for bridges, $40,000 for highway, $30,000 for parks and recreation, $75,000 for the fire department, $5,000 for dam maintenance, and $15,000 for town government. 

A petition article asks voters to approved an optional property tax exemption for properties equipped with solar energy systems intended to be used at the immediate site. 

The article asks for the exemption to be to be equal to 100 percent of the assessed value of the solar equipment. 

The following articles will also appear on the ballot:

■to take $60,000 from the fire department capital reserve fund to replace the department’s six self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs)

■to raise $25,000 to continue to update the town assessments

■to take $40,000 from the unassigned fund balance to purchase and outfit a police cruiser

■to take $45,000 from the unassigned fund balance for the first year of a five year lease agreement for a $190,000 highway department truck

■to rise $30,000 for a sewer department asset management plan, money will be borrowed from the NH DES Clean Water State Revolving Fund and 100 percent of the principal is eligible to be forgiven.

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com.