Meredith Selectboard approves 2014 budget that would raise town tax bill by 4.2%

dith MEREDITH — The Board of Selectmen, meeting at a workshop yesterday, agreed to present a 2014 town budget that would appropriate $13,819,974, an increase of $192,305 or 1.4-percent, to a public hearing on Monday, Feb. 3.

With estimated revenues of $5,850,000, which includes $1 million drawn from the undesignated fund balance, and adjusting for overlay and war credits, the projected amount to be raised by property taxes is $8,269,724, an increase of $334,527 or 4.2 percent. The projected town tax rate is $4.39 compared to the rate of $4.55 in 2013.

The budget includes a 1.25-percent salary adjustment for all 72 employees, together with step increases of 2.5 percent for 60 eligible employees.

Appropriations for capital projects, including transfers to expendable trust funds (ETFs), total $575,159. The budget transfers $200,000 to an ETF for purchasing a new fire engine that will replace two engines and $175,000 to ETF to replace vehicles at the Department of Public Works (DPW). The budget appropriates $100,000 for a feasibility study of the DPW facility in anticipation of constructing a new garage and $100,159 for renovation of the Meredith Public Library.

The selectmen withdrew $250,000 from the so-called "two-for-one fund," consisting of money set aside to improve unnumbered state roads, which the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) was expected to match at $2 to $1. Officials of the DOT have given the selectmen to understand that there is little likelihood that the agency will have the matching funds. The $250,000 will be applied to road improvements, leaving a balance of $212,000 in the fund.