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Spencer Board of Aldermen to hear public comment on proposed budget

By Amanda Raymond

amanda.raymond@salisburypost.com

SPENCER — The Spencer Board of Aldermen will be holding a public hearing on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2016-2017 at its meeting today at 600 S. Salisbury Ave.

The proposed tax rate would be 65.5 cents per $100, which is also the current tax rate.

According to Town Manager Reid Walter’s message to the board, the proposed budget addresses immediate capital needs, including the purchase of a new garbage truck, funds for a gravel parking lot at 8th Street, technology needs and funding for the five-year Spencer Library maintenance plan.

The Spencer Fire Department’s self-contained breathing apparatus equipment is close to its upgrade date, so there is $30,000 set aside in the budget for the upgrade. Walters wrote that the town will look at getting a matching grant with the funding. If the town does not receive a matching grant, it will proceed with the partial purchase and budget later to complete the purchase.

The proposed budget also allows for the creation of a part-time accounts payable clerk for the administration department and a full-time assistant to the police department. Right now there is one person fulfilling both roles and it was determined that it would be beneficial to have a clerical assistance specific to each department.

Other highlights of the proposed budget:

  • The budget for the governing body would be decreased to $51,059 because there is no municipal election this year.
  • Salary and wage adjustments have caused the budget for administration to be $352,355, a decrease of $43,488.
  • The budget for the police department would have an increase of $9,135 to $900,906, and would include money for new radars, in-car printers and other technology needs.
  • The budget for the fire department would decrease by $24,678 to $294,017. The decrease is because the last payment for the fire station is a partial payment this fiscal year.
  • The budget for the streets department would be $355,689, an increase of $19,153.
  • The budget for the Solid Waste Department would be $359,111, an increase of $33,067. It would include the first payment for a new garbage truck and purchase of 50 new garbage carts.
  • The budget for the Land Management Department would decrease by $16,956 to $140,093. It would include funds for a used truck and professional services.
  • The budget for the library would increase by $3,302 to $78,446 because of the five-year routine maintenance for the outside of the building.
  • The budget for recreation would be $227,050, technically increasing by $208,843.
  • The projected revenues are $2,758,726 and the total projected expenditures are $2,758,726.

Afterwards, the board will have a choice on whether to adopt the budget and set the tax rate.

In other business, the board will:

  • Hear departmental reports, a report from the town manager and reports from the mayor and delegates.
  • Hear public comments.
  • Discuss the Comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.
  • Discuss bids for the Stanback Forest Preserve.
  • Discuss budget amendments.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

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