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Derry

May 8, 2014

Derry residents could see tax rate drop

Councilors near end of budget work

DERRY — The town tax rate could drop 8 cents, if the Town Council adopts the proposed $36.8 million.

Some final number-crunching still needs to happen, but the bulk of the work is complete. Councilors didn’t do a lot of cutting, trimming just $175,291, Chief Financial Officer Frank Childs said. The cuts to date amount to less than 1 percent of the proposed budget. Final numbers are still subject to change.

The Town Council is expected to vote on the fiscal year 2015 budget May 20.

Right now, the projected town tax rate is $10.31, down from $10.39 last year and the year before, Childs said.

The current municipal budget is $37 million. Budget reductions for next year include $49,090 in health-care reductions and the $175,291 in councilors’ cuts, Childs said.

Some things still haven’t been finalized, including the amount of the veterans tax credit. That was on the agenda for this week’s council meeting.

“Assuming no other changes, the (tax) rate would end up slightly lower than the past two years,” Childs said.

The budget includes a revised six-year capital improvement plan for fiscal years 2015-2020. CIP items total $1.47 million for fiscal year 2015.

Last week, councilors revisited items they flagged during the workshop process.

That list wasn’t long.

They voted to remove a request for a new cemetery lawn mower at a cost of approximately $8,000.

Councilors also voted, 4-3, to eliminate $112,300 for a community development coordinator, including salary, benefits and startup costs.

Councilors Mark Osborne, David Fischer, Al Dimmock and Tom Cardon voted to eliminate that line item; Joshua Bourdon, Phyllis Katsakiores and Michael Fairbanks wanted to fund the position.

Acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau had urged councilors to include the position.

“This is about shaping the future of the community for generations to come,” Budreau said in his budget message. “It’s not that spending on economic development is an unwise investment, it’s that we have had bad luck and made ineffective choices.”

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