Department surpluses lead to lower budget in Temple

  • Temple Selectmen George Willard, Ken Caisse and Gail Cromwell hosted the town's annual budget hearing on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/20/2017 11:47:39 PM

Going into town meeting, Temple’s proposed budget is down from last year, largely thanks to department surpluses and fewer short-term expenditures.

Among those short-term expenditures include tennis court repairs, legal fees associated with the pipeline, town hall repairs completing in the past year. Those three, for example, resulted in much lower budgets in the recreation, legal and government buildings budgets.

The total recommended budget for 2017 is $1,325,140. That is a decrease of $5,676, or 0.4 percent.

There were also decreases Temple’s input to the police department because of a surplus in 2016, and in the sanitation budget because of new ways charging for commercial waste.

The Temple-Greenville Police Department budget actually increased, with Temple’s share jumping from $232,005.93 to $241,706.01, but the saved money countered the increase, and the total cost the town has to raise from taxation is only $215,000.52.

The salary line increases account for most of the change.

“We did a survey of towns around here and found we are underpaying our officers, so we had to increase our salaries,” Chief James McTague said.

The proposed budget does not include costs associated with the ConVal School District. That is $45,377,117. Of that, roughly seven percent is owed by Temple.

The largest increases came in salary lines, and many officials said they needed to keep up with other towns in order to retain their best employees.

Prior to the budget hearing, residents discussed a petition to cease town meeting in future years in favor of a deliberative session and ballot vote, like Rindge and New Ipswich.

During that conversation, no one rose to defend the petition, based on Senate Bill II, or SB2.

“The hope is that it will control spending, and I don’t think that’s a very reasonable hope,” Selectman Gail Cromwell said. “It certainly hasn’t been for the ConVal district.”

People in attendance do hope secret ballots will be promoted more this year at town meeting. When an SB2 petition is filed, the town is required by state law to hold a meeting about it, even though the issue is raised and declined every year.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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