DIXFIELD — Voters at town meeting Thursday night agreed to appropriate $20,000 from the undesignated surplus account to supplement the executive department budget, which was overdrawn

Interim Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky said the executive department “is bearing some unusual and hopefully one-time costs this year.”

He added, “Over the last year, we’ve had one full-time town manager and me as the interim town manager. I’ve been coming in here and helping out with the finances since last year, and between that and the change in management, it’s created some deficits and overdrawing in the salary lines for the town manager.”

He said contract negotiations had been “difficult and time-consuming” and had cost a lot in attorney’s fees, “certainly more than anybody anticipated a year ago.”

He told townspeople that without the $20,000, the Town Office would have to be closed three days per week.

“I’d have to get done, and you’d be without a town manager until a new one is hired,” Skibitsky said. “Even after that, the town would still have a little bit of a gap that would have to be filled. It’s not a pleasant situation.”

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Skibitsky said that the legal costs for the executive department were overdrawn by $30,000.

Selectman Scott Belskis said that at last year’s town meeting, $4,000 was budgeted for legal expenses.

“We ended up doing negotiations with the Police Department and the Public Works Department at the same time, and we had another incident that came up,” Belskis said. “It didn’t take long to eat up that $4,000.”

Voters also approved:

* $518,763 for the Public Works Department budget, $14,366 less than the amount recommended by the selectmen and Finance Committee.

* $92,145 for the Fire Department budget, $115 less than the amount recommended by the selectmen and Finance Committee.

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* $127,024 for the Ludden Memorial Library budget.

* $9,000 for the General Assistance budget, $1,000 more than the amount recommended by the selectmen and Finance Committee.

* $180,122 for the public safety budget.

* $15,515 for the code enforcement budget.

* $12,500 for the recreation budget.

* $32,186 for the grounds budget.

* $36,000 for the insurance budget.

* $4,901 for the social services budget, $300 more than the amount recommended by the selectmen.

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