Claremont City Council approves municipal budgetBy MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent
May 28. 2014 9:54PM
CLAREMONT — After making adjustments on Tuesday night, City Council members voted 4 to 3 to approve the proposed $15.8 million city operating budget for the fiscal year July 2014 through June 2015.
City Manager Guy Santagate proposed the $15,788,692 budget earlier this month, saying the budget would keep the city portion of the tax rate flat.
The total amount remained the same, but council members voted on several items Tuesday night, shifting funds within the proposed budget, Santagate said Wednesday.
“They didn’t want to change the number I submitted, so they arrived by that by increasing and decreasing different parts of the budget,” Santagate said.
Changes included adding $8,200 to the city attorney budget to fund part-time help for the city attorney, $4,400 to patch the roof of a city-owned municipal complex, and $17,246 to fund a part-time secretary for the Planning and Development Department.
When crafting his tight budget, Santagate said he had decreased funding to two volunteer groups that provide recreation opportunities to residents, Arrowhead Recreation Area and the Junior Sports League.
City Council members, though, didn’t want to see these programs diminish, Santagate said and so shifted $20,000 to the Parks and Recreation Department for both groups.
The Parks and Recreation Department will decide how the money is divided between the two volunteer groups, he said.
Decreases in the budget include nearly $30,000 from the city Welfare Department. The Welfare Department still has $75,000 in it, which is a healthy amount, Santagate said.
“I’m pleased with it and we can deal with it,” Santagate said of the overall budget.