DERRY — The town's proposed $46.1 million budget for fiscal year 2010 was released last week and creationj of the document proved to be a challenging process, according to town administrator Gary Stenhouse.

In his opening notes in the prepared budget document, Stenhouse said he found the budget development process a challenge, but the end result is a reasonable number considering the current economic situation, and the town's obligation to meet contracts and quality services to its residents.

The budget includes the town's revised six-year Capital Improvement Plan (2010-2015) with items totaling $6,281,079.

The largest project in the CIP for fiscal year '10 is a proposed $4 million bond to finance a new indoor recreational facility to help meet the needs of the town's recreation activities, with funding to be a 20-year bond.

Right now, many recreational activities take place in the 80-year-old Veterans Memorial Building, now showing its age with limitations in safety and efficiency, according to the budget report

Other major projects in the proposed budget are for fire sprinkler systems, a new ambulance, water main upgrades, driving training simulator, and replacement of the Florence Street Bridge.

Derry is set to receive $133,000 in stimulus money for energy efficiency. Stenhouse said he will propose spending that amount to renovate the recreation department's current home at the Veterans Building. Several hundred thousand dollars are earmarked for renovations to that building, which would also help to purchase a new roof, furnace and window.

With those improvements, Stenhouse said, the town could get another 10 years out of the building. The budget doesn't reflect any cuts to services and comes in 3 cents below Derry's tax cap.

The budget work continues and more details on specific numbers will follow as town council plans budget workshops on April 17 with a public hearing tentatively scheduled for April 23 at 7 p.m. in the town municipal center third-floor meeting room. The council will approve the final budget by late May.

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