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March 06. 2014 8:30PM

Dunbarton voters to decide on $2.17M budget

DUNBARTON — The fire station building was moved to its present location in 1963, and has never been upgraded.

On March 11, voters will be asked to approve a $75,000 warrant article to upgrade the kitchen and bathroom, bring the electrical system up to code, and provide office and meeting space.

The warrant article for fire station renovations is one of 17 articles to be presented to voters on March 11. The warrants include the town’s proposed $2,174,004 operating budget and warrant articles totaling $143,000. The budget would increase taxes 33 cents per $1,000 of assessed property valuation. Warrant articles relating to raising funds would add 46 cents per $1,000 valuation for a total tax impact of 79 cents per $1,000 valuation, or $237 for a $300,000 home.

Voting takes place Tuesday, March 11, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Community Center at Dunbarton Elementary School.

The budget increased by about $105,000 over last year and includes replacing computers, costs for retirement and workers’ compensation costs, a $10,000 increase in health insurance, $7,000 for electricity and oil and $10,000 toward building maintenance, said Town Administrator Line Comeau.

The budget also reflects a 1.7 percent consumer price index raise for employees, except for four who received raises in 2013; and $10,795 for an additional 10 hours per week in the deputy town clerk budget, instead of adding another position to the operating budget.

“There will also be three elections this year, so $3,404 was added to the election ballot item,” said Comeau.

Voters will be asked to approve several warrant articles with funds raised through taxes — $6,700 to purchase new mapping software, installation and labor for a town cemeteries layout; establishing a capital reserve fund for the town’s 250th anniversary celebration and raising $10,000 to be placed in the fund; $18,200 for the milfoil control at Gorham Pond and to authorize the selectmen to accept a $7,280 Variable Milfoil Control Grant from the state’s Department of Environmental Services, with the balance of $10,920 coming from taxes; $17,000 to change the police department secretary’s position from part time to full time starting July 1; and $24,000 to hire and equip a full-time police officer starting Sept. 1.

Warrants that have no tax impact are $65,000 to replace the stark bridge; a $10,000 deposit into an established fund for a future town revaluation; withdrawing $75,000 from a reserve fund to purchase a new highway maintenance vehicle and equipment; $25,000 for the future purchase of a highway department vehicle; establishing a capital reserve fund for a future purchase of a fire department emergency vehicle and raising $20,000 from an unassigned surplus fund balance; establishing a capital reserve fund for a future purchase of a transfer station department vehicle or equipment and raising $20,000; and withdrawing $25,000 from a reserve fund to restore the second floor of the Town Hall and theater, and architectural/engineering design materials.

Dunbarton Fire Department is also included in a multi-town $105,200 grant application to purchase breathing apparatus. Warrant Article 14 requests withdrawing $10,520 from the Fire Department Special Revenue Fund and authorize selectmen to accept a federal grant of $94,680. This article is contingent on receipt of the grant and has no tax impact.

sclark@newstote.com


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