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February 06. 2013 10:58PM

$7.76 million plan goes to town voters

LITTLETON - Voters placed the town's proposed $7.76 million operating budget on the warrant Tuesday night without any changes to the bottom line.

Town Manager Fred Moody said the only change residents made to the warrant was to the article that would allow the town to lease property to the Mount Eustis Ski Hill group. Moody said residents added the words "in accordance with town zoning and planning regulations and after at least two public hearings."

The 2012 operating budget was $8,832,393, with actual expenditures coming in at $7,798,717. The 2013 proposed budget is $7,766,766.

In 2012, $76,375 was budgeted for health agencies and $91,375 was spent. Funding requests from social service agencies are broken out into special articles. Articles 37 through 44 were not recommended by the selectmen by a vote of 3-0.

The budget committee was unanimous in its vote to not recommend the articles, which range from a request of $30,000 for the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council to $3,080 for the the Burch House Support Center, northern Grafton County's sexual and domestic violence crisis center.

In further decreases, the 2012 budget had a $350,000 line item for a capital outlay for land, $434,329 for machinery, vehicles and equipment and $359,100 for improvements other than buildings. There are no appropriations in that category in the proposed 2013 operating budget, though there are several individual articles that address capital improvements and maintenance.

If the operating budget is defeated, the town government will be run under a default budget of $7,699,128.

The proposed budget was recommended by the selectmen, 3-0, with the budget committee splitting its vote, 4-3. Also recommended were $342,846 in special articles and $745,800 in individual articles, for a total of $8,855,412 in recommended appropriations.

Estimated revenues and credits are $3,290,430, leaving $5,564,982 to be raised by general taxation, up from $4,904,154 in 2012.

Last year, voters rejected the budget, and town officials worked under the default budget. In March, residents will also vote on two three-year contracts with the local unions of the State Employee's Association and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council. The second session of the annual town meeting is March 12, with ballot voting at the Littleton Fire Department, 230 Main St., from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.



syoungknox@newstote.com

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