HEBRON — Voters at Saturday’s annual town meeting passed a budget of about $740,000, but some raised concerns about the $770,000 available in the General Fund.

“We have a ton of money in the General Fund,” said resident Randy Swift as voters were asked to approve requests for increases in several budgets.

Swift said he couldn’t approve every budget increase when the town has so much money that could be tapped, and he was worried about paying his property taxes.

“It’s like money in the bank that we don’t have to borrow,” said Board of Selectmen Chairman Richard Deans. The General Fund at the end of the fiscal year on Dec. 31, 2013, stood at $980,000, according to the Town Report.

Selectman Jim Reid said the town does not want to touch the money in the General Fund because it is available if there is an unexpected need.

“The town is in good financial shape for a reason,” Reid said.

About 60 people acted on the 59-article warrant, by re-electing Selectman Dan Eichorn to the board and approving money to pay for winter and summer roads, the replacement of a culvert at Bog Brook on Station Road, preliminary work for the construction of a sand/salt shed and other items.

Voters were asked to increase a number of budgets, including a $15,000 increase, from $130,000 to $145,000, in the winter roads account and an increase from $2,000 to $4,000 for the care of town cemeteries, among other increases.

Fire Chief Jim Trundy defended the requested $3,000 increase from $42,000 to $45,000 in his budget saying, “I can’t always find an organization to bolster the budget.”

The department last year received a $25,000 grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, which was used to buy a new truck and replace gear.

Selectmen defended an increase in the town cemetery maintenance fund from $2,000 to $4,000, saying a recent state mandate requires towns to maintain any cemetery, private or public, where a veteran is buried.

Although last year, the board only mowed the cemeteries, using $1,871 of its $2,000 budget, Selectman Dan Eichorn said this year the state can impose a penalty against the town if the cemeteries are not maintained properly. He said there is a lot of work to be done on town cemeteries, including grading and tree removal.

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