DERRY — The Town Council approved a $48.4 million spending plan along with capital improvement projects.
At a meeting May 7, councilors approved the budget, after weeks of department workshops and discussion.
Council had until the end of May to approve the budget, as per the town's charter. The charter also stipulates that the town operate under a tax cap, restricting how much of an increase the town can have during budget planning based on calculations through the Northeast Region Consumer Price Index. The tax rate will be set in the fall.
Town Administrator David Caron had presented his proposed budget overview last month to the council.
The overall budget number includes the general fund, capital projects, and cable and wastewater/water funding, the two latter paid for through user fees with no impact to the tax rate.
Department heads presented proposed spending plans this week including public works, administration, police and fire departments, libraries, cable, recreation and buildings and grounds.
Some capital projects included in the budget and paid for through various capital reserve funds are cardiac monitoring equipment for the fire department; continuing the town's roadway management program; replacing mobile and portable radios for the fire department, and replacement other vehicles and equipment across Public Works divisions.
In other Council business:
— An agreement was approved to move forward with the Southern New Hampshire Regional Water Interconnection Project to construct water system improvements, part of a project and state-funded initiative to provide additional drinking water to southern tier communities including Salem, Windham, Atkinson, Hampstead and Plaistow. The water will be routed through Derry's existing water system and extensions and infrastructure upgrades will be part of the project at no cost to Derry. The town will receive revenue as part of the water project.
— Council approved a $180,153.89 budget transfer from the Drew Road Bridge Project fund balance to the Bridge Improvement Fund. The Drew Road fund will also be closed as part of this transfer. The money transfer will allow the town to continue to implement bridge maintenance and replacement projects. The Bridge Improvement Fund was created to fund those future bridge and culvert repairs.
— Mike Fowler brought forward a request to transfer funds from the Department of Public Works Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund, fiscal year 2019 capital to cover expenses for truck and equipment purchases. Public Works purchased two pickup trucks and and three salt/sand material spreaders as part of the fiscal 2019 capital plan. The total cost was $129,929.20 and items were put in service this past winter.
— Another agreement was put in place to transfer money from the Hazardous Building Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund, to cover expenses related to a building demolition at 40 Kilrea Road. The town had become responsible for the dilapidated property in 2014. The building was demolished last fall at a cost of $13,018.60.