Five area towns meet to discuss budget concerns

WILTON – Selectmen from the five towns participating in the ambulance service and/or the recycling center met on Jan. 17 to discuss budgets. Those towns are Greenfield, Greenville, Lyndeborough, Mason and Temple. Both services are owned by Wilton.

All the towns use the recycling center. The main concern was a plan to repave all or part of the parking area at a cost estimated at $80,000.

The paving was described as “bad” and “beyond where cold patch works.”

After some discussion, it was decided to take the money from the center’s revolving fund with the Wilton selectmen deciding what would be done when more information has been obtained. The revolving fund, created from income from recycled materials and other sources, currently holds about $109,000. The fund is intended to cover capital expenses. Total expenditure is estimated at $548,070 with about $75,700 income.

Wilton pays 36 percent of the costs of the center, Greenville 20.61 percent, Lyndeborough 14.48, Mason 13.53 percent, and Temple 13.38 percent, based on usage. Towns make quarterly payments.

Mason is not part of the ambulance service and Greenfield is new this year.

Total expenditures in 2019 are estimated at $511,762, with income of about $260,000. The remainder is paid by the participating towns based on the usage of the service.

Wilton pays 51 percent and the other three towns 16.3 percent each.

With Greenfield joining this year, calculations of usage are estimates.

Any surplus as the end of the year is placed in a revolving fund, which was created when Wilton transferred funds from a capital reserve account. That fund is used mainly for capital expenses.

Ambulance Director Steve Desrosiers said, because of Medicare payments and other insurance issues, “the service collects about 54 cents on each dollar billed.” He added, “We collect what Medicare allows.”

Subsidizing by the towns is needed. It is hoped that, eventually, the service will be self-sustaining as far as capital expenses.