FARMINGTON — Selectmen on Tuesday reviewed initial budget requests for town departments.

Requests for capital improvements and public services total $5.76 million, a decrease of $136,882 from last year.

The Police Department budget includes a $70,000 increase in personnel services, Chief Jack Peck said. He made small cuts in other areas, including fuel, to keep the proposed budget at $1.3 million, which is $61,000 more than last year, he said.

The Fire Department budget includes a new line of $10,000 for overtime to cover full-time firefighters. It is offset by a $17,000 drop in health insurance costs, Fire Chief Terry Bell said. An increase in vehicle repair and maintenance raises the budget request to $524,407, an increase of $8,350 over last year.

Matthew Foster, Parks and Recreation director, said much of a nearly $8,000 increase to the personnel line reflects an increase in minimum wages.

Although the department’s proposed budget of $175,560 is $12,333 more than last year, Foster reminded selectmen that the budget in 2013 was $165,065. 

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“Spread out over the five years, that averages out to a 1.29 percent increase each year, which I feel is reasonable,” he said.

The Public Works budget of $1.3 million is $276,438 less than last year. Director Philip Hutchins said there is $17,000 less for personnel because workers making more money were replaced with those making less. Vehicle fuel was cut by $10,000, and $20,000 was budgeted for a new furnace for the town garage.

Hutchins proposed converting a military vehicle, acquired by the Police Department and now the town’s property, into a plow truck for $63,000 this year. A new truck could cost more than $170,000, he said.

The sum of $32,000 is requested for the revaluation reserve account. The town is preparing for a total revaluation in a few years, Town Manager Richard Davis said. 

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