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Exeter voters let $21.1m proposal go to voters

EXETER - The town's proposed $21.1 million operating budget was sent to the warrant unchanged despite attempts to add money back in to fund several social service agencies.

Voters at Saturday's town deliberative session rejected a motion to add $103,395 to the budget to provide financial support for 18 area agencies, including A Safe Place, Meals on Wheels, Rockingham Community Action and Seacoast Mental Health.

The spending requests were broken out of the budget and placed on a separate warrant article to give voters an opportunity to see the agencies seeking funding and decide for themselves whether to support them. It's a move that's been made by many local towns in recent years that in past years automatically included the funding in their operating budgets.

Some feared the agencies could be hurt financially if the article is rejected at the polls on March 12, but they agreed to leave the budget as is for this year.

Voters made no significant changes to other articles, which included the proposed purchase of a new ladder truck for the fire department to replace a 1994 truck. The plan calls for spending $107,250 this year to make the first of 10 annual payments. The total cost of the new truck would be $961,125.

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