Mason budget proposal features increases in wages, tech costs

  • Uncle Sam's house in Mason on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript)

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/26/2017 11:01:23 AM

Mason finalized its $1.7 million budget proposal, which includes a wage increase for all town employees, at a public hearing Tuesday.

The proposed 2017 budget, including capital outlay and operating expenses came in at $1,735,765.89, a 2.7 percent decrease from 2016’s. Among the increases to this year’s budget is an across-the-board 1.5 percent jump in wages.

Administrative Assistant Kathy Wile, who was introduced as the part-time administrator in 2015, is getting a 15 percent pay raise.

“When we hired out part-time administrator, she was very new, we were cautious,” Selectman Charles Moser said. “She has grown into the role, exceeded our expectations and become an extremely invaluable asset to the town.”

Wile attended the meeting at the Mason Town Hall along with the Board of Selectmen and a handful of department heads, including Fire Chief Fred Greenwood and Highway Director Dave Morrison.

The newly hired road agent has a salary 4 percent higher than his predecessor, and the department’s part-time wages increased 20 percent to offset a decrease to the overtime wage budget.

Most of the other increases are internet and technology oriented. The police station and Mann House on Darling Hill Road are being rewired and monthly costs will rise.

“We are entering into a new internet service where we will be sharing it with the school, which, they have better speed,” Selectboard Chair Louise Lavoie said.

The town and the school administrative unit have an ongoing partnership. The school already provides paper and other supplies for the town office.

Decreases in the budget reflect cyclical costs – in 2016 Mason hosted five elections and had its revaluation – and a lower projected fuel cost, in addition to other items.

Residents can ask questions about, challenge and vote to change the proposed budget, at a deliberative session Feb. 4, at 9 a.m. at Mason Elementary School.


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