GILMANTON — After shaving off a few more thousand more dollars from the proposed 2015 annual budget Tuesday night, selectmen will be presenting a $3,498,074 spending plan to the Budget Committee for its public hearing on January 5.
The budget, which included all of the proposed warrant articles, is $270,000 less than the 2014 bottom line number of $3,768,526.
The default budget is $3,698,583.
At their meeting Tuesday, selectmen voted against spending $25,000 to do some repair work in the rear parking lot of the Life Safety Building and decided to wait until next year to purchase a 6-wheel dump truck for the Public Works Department.
Selectmen agreed that with 80,000 miles and the shape its in, the truck wouldn't loose much value from this year to next on a trade in and the town could easily get an additional year of use out of it.
The 6-wheeler was estimated to cost about $300,000 — $150,000 of which is already in the Capital Reserve Highway Equipment Fund.
Selectmen also had a lengthy discussion about whether or not to lower the amount of money budget for fuel and gas for 2015 in light of recently falling global oil prices.
While selectman Brett Currier was in favor of lowering the amounts, members Stephen McCormack and Don Guarino as well as Town Administrator Arthur Capello said they didn't like the idea.
The three argued that should fuel prices spike in 2015, the town could come up short. Capello also said that if they were to lower the amount for 2015, that amount would be locked in to the 2016 default budget and the town could run short then as well.
Currier conceded and the fuel amounts budgeted stayed the same.
The budget number also includes a 1.5-percent pay raise for all employee. Selectmen unanimously agreed a raise was appropriate that was consistent with the 1.6 cost-of-living or inflation index.
The 2015 budget also includes money for a new police cruiser — using $2,300 in the Police Cruiser Capital Replacement Fund and raiding the $32,600 balance from taxation.
Although the bottom line includes the petitioned warrant article appropriation of $45,975 for Gilmanton-Year-Round Library operating expenses, all three selectmen voted unanimously not to recommend its passage. The library, though open to the public, is privately owned and town support for the institution has been a continuous issue in the community for nearly a decade.
The Gilmanton School District public budget hearing begins at 6 p.m. in the Gilmanton Academy on January 5 and the town's public hearing begins when the School District hearing ends.
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