DERRY | The Town Council approved a budget Tuesday night that is well below the tax cap and 6 percent less than last year's budget.

For the owner of a $280,000 home, using the current tax rate, the new $36.6 million budget will increase their tax bill by about $44.80.

Councilors approved the budget 5 to 2. Councilors Brent Carney and Brian Chirichiello voted no and called for more cuts.

"I don't think we went far enough," Carney said. "We didn't do enough to save the taxpayers money. There wasn't enough focus toward the goals of our town within the budget."

Carney added that he didn't think the town needed to lease a new front end loader for $168,000 when the old one is still working.

"I can't just go out and buy a new car because it would be nice to have a new one," he said. "You do it when you have to do it."

Chirichiello agreed, saying the council should have cut the money to pave new sidewalks, as well as Manning Street Extension. He said both projects could have been postponed.

"Those two projects didn't have to be done this year, and we could have used the money for general savings," he said. "There's a lot of people who are having a very hard time. They're caught between a rock and a hard place."

Before the budget headed to a final vote on Tuesday night, Councilor Janet Fairbanks proposed a cut of $50,000 from the Fire Department's budget. The cut was approved by a 4 to 3 vote, with Craig Bulkley, Beverly Ferrante and Chirichiello dissenting.

The council cut nearly $200,000 from the budget that was presented to them by the town administrator in April, taking the largest bites out of the police and fire budgets.

The new budget year starts July 1.



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