Budget includes raise for town employees

Thursday, February 16, 2012



LYNDEBOROUGH – Although there are still a few adjustments to make, the Budget Committee’s proposal for 2012 is slightly higher than last year’s budget. The budget presented to a handful of voters Feb. 7 totaled $1,565,786. Additions considered at the hearing will bring it close to last year’s figure of $1,592,978.

If all warrant articles pass, the total budget will be about $1.9 million, up from about $1.7 million. Chairman Don Guertin conducted the meeting.

The proposed operating budget includes a 2.5 percent raise for all town employees, added costs for elections (there are four this year), a new roof for the town garage, and an increase of about $30,000 in the paving account because of a rise in costs of materials.

Emergency repairs to a fire truck for $600 was added at the meeting.

The cost of sand is reduced because of “an excellent deal,” committee members said. A warrant article asks for $5,000 to purchase a sand pit in North Lyndeborough. Road Agent Kent Perry said it would supply about three years’ worth of sand, a $60,000 value.

The Police Department budget covers costs of one full-time officer and weekly coverage of 112 hours, “if nothing happens,” Guertin said.

It was noted that the ambulance request for $56,353 includes the town’s share toward a new ambulance when needed. The ambulance service is a Wilton department and Lyndeborough pays for services.

Citizens’ Hall will be painted using labor from the state Corrections Department, but $1,500 was added to the budget to cover the cost of renting a lift.

Legal expenses was reduced by $5,000, because, Guertin said, “everyone is getting along.”

In addition to the usual contributions to capital reserve funds, special warrant articles include establishing a bridge fund for replacement of the Johnson’s Corner Road bridge over Curtis Brook, an area which frequently washes out.

“We have applied for a FEMA hazard mitigation grant,” Town Administrator Burton Reynolds said. “It will cost $500,000 to replace the culvert with a true bridge, big enough to handle the water. The town’s share is 25 percent.”

The fund would be started with $50,000 this year and $50,000 added next year, Reynolds said. The rest of the town’s share would come from highway funds and labor, which can be counted as “in-kind” contributions.

Repair and strengthening of the roof of the Town Hall in Lyndeborough Center with a series of turn-buckles is estimated at $10,000. The 1843 building has been found to be in good shape, Reynolds said. Work also needs to be done on the handicapped-accessible ramp.

The repair is required to correct work done in the 1880s. Also requested is $3,000 for repairs to a garage owned by the town. The building will be used to store extra equipment for emergency management, fire and highway departments, such as road signs and cones.

Town Meeting is set for Saturday, March 10, at 10 a.m., at Citizens Hall.

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