Norway budgeteers OK $2.7M proposal

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NORWAY — The Budget Committee on Tuesday night unanimously followed Town Manager David Holt’s recommendations and approved a proposed $2.7 million municipal budget for 2011-12.

First, however, they called attention to the $25,000 requested increase in the General Assistance budget, which is proposed at $110,000. Of that total, $10,000 is for administration.

“I think we can be concerned about the General Assistance (budget). There’s just nothing we can do about it,” Budget Committee member Bruce Cook said. “The only thing we can do is tighten things up,” he said of the process.

Holt said it is not unusual to get 30 applications in a day. “Some of it is necessary, some of it we can do better with,” he said of the program’s administration and guidelines.

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The Budget Committee also briefly discussed funding for the new Highway Department grader and firetruck but agreed the requested amount for both is money well spent.

It is part of an overall request of $427,500 for capital projects. If approved by voters, the money will pay for the new firetruck, highway truck and road improvements for the coming fiscal year.

“If we don’t do something we’re going to get behind the eight ball,” Budget Committee member David Millett said of the replacement of Highway Department equipment. The current 17-year-old grader cost the town $40,000 in repairs last year.

The $2.7 million budget must now be approved by voters at the June 20 annual town meeting.

The Budget Committee and Board of Selectmen’s recommendations will be presented to town meeting members at that time. Last week, the Board of Selectmen also approved the proposed town budget.

Budget Committee members and the Board of Selectmen have been meeting weekly for almost a month to come up with a proposed budget for the coming fiscal year that starts July 1.

ldixon@sunjournal.com

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