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Rindge moves to 18-month budget ready or not

RINDGE - The Board of Selectmen has apologized for giving residents no option other than an 18-month budget this year, but now the town must move forward, Selectman Jed Brummer said.

Last week the Board of Selectmen told residents at a budget hearing that they did not realize they were locking the town into an 18-month budget last year when they proposed the town switch over to a fiscal-year budget from its calendar-year budget.

The measure was approved by voters at the 2012 March Town Meeting.

Selectmen thought if the voters said no to the 18-month budget a 12-month default budget would take its place, but according to the town's auditor a 12-month default budget would be in violation of state law.

To ease the burden on taxpayers the board has proposed a $1 million bond to be paid over the next five years.

"The best and easiest way minimize the financial impact is to have a five year bond, said Brummer.

"For a $200,000 house the tax bill increase will be about $80 a year, or $40 dollars per tax payment. And that will reduce each year until the bond is paid off," Brummer said.

The move to a fiscal-year puts the town in line with the fiscal budget of the Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District, Brummer said.

"This is something that the budget committee has endorsed and selectmen and has many positive impacts," he said.

"It's going to be much better for the town of Rindge. We still wish we had been more informed in the beginning but we apologize and are going forward because it's the right thing to do for Rindge," Brummer said.

The Board of Selectmen plans to finalize the March Town Meeting warrant tonight in the town office at 6 p.m.

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