NEWPORT — Police and public works employees will see an increase in salary and benefits as a result of voter approval of collective bargaining agreements at the May Town Meeting at the Newport Opera House/Town Hall.
On Tuesday, residents voted 450-262 to approve the increases in salaries and benefits for police in a new three-year contract. The estimated increases are $41,919 the 2014/2015 fiscal year, $45,675 for the 2015/2016 fiscal year and $41,506 in the 2016/2017 fiscal year.
Voters also approved, 480-233, a collective bargaining agreement between the town and the public works union for the next three years. Increases in salaries and benefits are estimated at $9,434 for the 2014/2015 fiscal year, $21,729 for the 2015/2016 fiscal year and $18,723 in the 2016/2017 fiscal year.
The proposed $9,144,436 budget, which is a 3.7 percent increase over last year’s $8,816,961 operating budget, was approved by voters, 463-246.
All other spending requests were approved including $175,000 to enter a lease agreement for a new highway truck. The first year’s payment would be $60,000.
Voters OK’d spending:
• $20,153 from the Police Capital Reserve Fund to update communication antennas on the Town Hall.
• $27,750 from the Police Capital Reserve Fund to purchase mobile data terminals.
• $30,000 from the Sewer Capital Reserve Fund to purchase equipment and upgrade the sewer system.
• $2,151,000 on the Oak Street Bridge project, which is to be funded through $1,720,800 in grants and the Bridge Capital Reserve Fund.
Voters also approved creating a Communications System Capital Reserve Fund and funding it with $5,000.
A $158,000 bond article to fund an ambulance for the EMS Department was approved. The town plans to borrow up to $74,700. The remaining cost will be covered through $55,300 in grant funds and $28,000 through general taxation.
Spending $64,000 for cardiac monitors for the Fire and EMS Department was approved. Aside from $22,400 in grant funds, the purchase would be funded through taxation.
Voters rejected a plan to develop permanent parking on the north end and eastern side of the town common.