Lacona budget gets Council OK
LACONIA — The city’s budget for the coming year has gotten the City Council’s approval.
It is up 15 cents per thousand dollars of valued property, with the rate going from $20.56 to $20.71.
Scott Myers, city manager, said the budget was up on the school side, down and still well within the tax cap.
A former mayor of Dover, Myers is a former Seacoast area businessman. This is first budget he has presented to the council as city manager. He came this time last year to replace Eileen Cabanel.
The budget is effective July 1 and will be reflected in tax bills that go out in November.
It is a seven tenths of 1 percent increase, Myers said.
It also includes stabilization accounts this year to ride out bad weather winters and health insurance premium spikes, he said.
Last winter the city spent $90,000 less in plowing and sanding than the previous year, but that is not always likely to be the case, he noted.
The stabilization will allow the city to budget for a five-year average and replenish when needed for bad times.
“So we don’t have these yo-yos,” in the budget Myers said.
This year, the costs of health care for the city’s 150 employees went down, because during contract negotiations, they opted for less coverage but a 2 percent cost of living wage increase.
“There were significant savings,” in moving the insurance to a different HMO, Myers said. The city is staying with Harvard Pilgrim health care insurance, he noted.
The city is among several municipalities in the state bound by a tax cap, limiting budget increases.
Myers said only 40 percent of the cap was used.
There is additional money for street paving — about $500,000 — and enough to hire a police detective to focus on illegal drugs.
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