Lyndeborough’s proposed budget could stay level

LYNDEBOROUGH – If projected revenues are as expected, the town portion of the proposed operating budget will stay the same or decrease slightly.

An increase in revenues of more than $20,000 is expected from several sources.

The town Budget Committee presented the proposed 2017-18 budget on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at a storm-delayed meeting. The budget was presented by Chairman Burton Reynolds. Four residents attended.

The operating budget totals $1,985,132.

The total cost of proposed warrant articles is $272,00, down from last year’s $2,093,855, which included the full cost of the Mountain Road project.

Expected revenues total $728,573, leaving $1,528,559 to be raised, an increase of $119,113 over last year.

The biggest increase is the payment on the bond for the Mountain Road reconstruction project. To offset that expense, $215,000, many adjustments were made in the Capital Improvements Plan. Contributions to various funds were reduced by about $58,000.

The only item discussed at length was the purchase of new police radios. Police Chief Rance Deware explained the current radios date to 2008 and are no longer made, and therefore it’s difficult to get parts. He proposes replacing four of them this year and four next year, with the goal of each officer having his own radio. The cost is $1,035 for each unit if purchased through a state bid.

“We want to place all of our equipment on a replacement cycle,” he said, to prevent “sudden spikes in the budget.”

The selectmen support the purchase.

Also discussed were the ambulance costs. The service, owned by Wilton, has restructured its salary scale to attract more employees.

The selectmen are proposing a 2 percent salary increase for all employees.

With only one election this year, as opposed to four last year with the primaries, those expenses are down more than $500.

Improvements in security are planned for the Emergency Services garage on Center Road.

Cemetery expenses are up because of the need to remove several old trees from the South Yard. It was feared they would fall and damage old stones.

The Highway Department is also looking at salary structures in an attempt cut down on overtime. Since most of that expense is snowplowing, it is difficult to estimate.

A rise in the recycling center budget is partly because of a plan to put all surpluses into a fund for future expenses instead of returning it to the separate towns. The center plans to budget a scale for more equitable charges.

The budget is included in the warrant for Town Meeting, which is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, March 18, at Citizens’ Hall.