SABATTUS — Selectmen have endorsed a $3 million budget that puts aside money for roads, dips into savings for a firetruck next year and keeps the head of maintenance at the Town Office.

At $55,000 less, the Budget Committee has proposed cutting that maintenance position, setting aside money for a future firetruck and saying no to a new street sweeper. 

The two groups will meet one last time Tuesday to work out differences and see if either side wants to reconsider its recommendations before the budget goes before voters, Town Manager Andrew Gilmore said.

They’ll meet at 6 p.m. at the Town Office.

The town’s current mill rate is $17.80, or a tax bill of $2,670 on a $150,000 home. School spending accounts for two-thirds of that, according to a handout from Gilmore.

Selectmen last week voted in favor of a $3.01 million municipal operating and capital budget, a 6.9 percent increase over last year. Factoring in the proposed municipal, school and county costs under that budget, the mill rate would rise to $18.50, or a $2,775 tax bill on a $150,000 home.


The Budget Committee is supporting a $2.95 million budget, a 4.9 percent increase over last year. With those same factors, the mill rate would rise to $18.31, or a $2,746.50 tax bill on that same home. 

Among the differences in the two budgets are the following: 

* Selectmen would raise $2,000 to fund General Assistance. The Budget Committee would instead tap into part of $10,000 in a special revenue account to pay for that, Gilmore said.

* The Budget Committee supports a $497,193 Public Works budget; selectmen want to see it trimmed to $485,000 but don’t have a particular target for cuts, Gilmore said. It’s “under the premise the Public Works budget has overall been overfunded the last several years.”

* Selectmen would set aside $40,000 toward the eventual replacement of the fuel depot where school and town vehicles fuel up; the Budget Committee wouldn’t set aside anything yet.

The depot’s license expires in February 2017, Gilmore said. It has single-lined tanks and current rules call for double-lined. He anticipates the project to cost roughly $150,000.


* Selectmen would use $300,000 from the existing fire capital reserve account to buy a new or used firetruck next year and also raise $35,000 toward the next purchase; the Budget Committee would raise $50,000 to buy a new truck eventually.

The purchase would replace a 35-year-old pumper truck.

* Selectmen would raise $5,000 toward a new $30,000 sidewalk sweeper, financing the rest of it; the Budget Committee doesn’t endorse buying a new sweeper at this time.

The Budget Committee would like to see if contracting that work out would be less expensive in the long run, Gilmore said.

Both support using $35,000 from a police capital reserve account and raising $5,000 to buy a new 2015 Dodge to replace a 2011 Crown Victoria for the Police Department.

The figures and any changes agreed upon Tuesday will go off to voters at town meeting on Thursday, May 14, at 6 p.m. Gilmore said that last year, the meeting was standing room only.

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