DIXFIELD – Selectmen and Finance Committee members got a first look at a proposed $1.8 million municipal budget Monday night, and it’s $448 less than this fiscal year.

Among the major changes proposed by Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky were no money for social service agencies, an additional $66,704 for the public works department to hire another crew member and pay for more salt and highway equipment. Three people make up the public works crew now.

“There isn’t a sufficient amount of manpower to get the job done,” Skibitsky said Tuesday afternoon.

Also, salaries would remain at this year’s level for all municipal employees, with the possible exception of the public works department. It is the only unionized department in town, and its contract expires June 30. Negotiations for a new contract are expected to begin in April.

Other proposed reductions from last year include nearly $18,000 from reserve accounts, a little more than $10,000 from grounds maintenance that will be picked up by SAD 21, and $13,000 from public safety, specifically for Med-Care ambulance service. The town had built in extra money for the emergency organization last year for construction of a new facility.

Skibitsky is asking for an increase in the code enforcement account from $2,700 to $5,000, $2,500 more for the Fire Department, and $4,500 more for the Police Department.

Whether the current tax rate of $16.25 per $1,000 valuation will be maintained will not be known until the school budget is adopted.

Selectmen will take up the proposed budgets for several departments at a special budget workshop at 5 p.m. Monday.

The Finance Committee will also hold separate meetings to review each part of the proposed budget.

The two boards will meet jointly several times between now and the signing the town meeting warrant May 18.

Voters will decide on a final budget at their annual town meeting May 28.

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