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Andover proposes $730K budget
ANDOVER- As the small town prepares for their annual town meeting on Saturday, citizens will be asked once again to help support the town committee in keeping their school open with an increase of $32,000 over last year’s requested amount.
The town is asking taxpayers to authorize the board of selectmen to negotiate and enter into an agreement with the SAD 44 school system to continue operation of the elementary school for the 2013/2014 school year on terms and conditions the board may deem in the best interest of the town. In the event that a vote to withdraw for the coming school year occurs, the the money would be used to offset initial approved budgeted expenses for Andover’s new school district.
The board is seeking $100,000.
This annual meeting will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday in the town hall, located across from the congregational church. The traditional lunch will be served half way through the meal at approximately noon.
The town is also asking citizens to approve $140,000 to be taken from surplus for tax reduction. In the last three years, the board has asked to increase the amount by $20,000 per year. In 2012, taxpayers approved $120,000, up from $100,000 in 2011.
During the meeting, taxpayers will be asked to vote to establish a designated capital improvement account for the fire department which will be funded by donations and to authorize the fire chief to spend donation money as needed for capital improvements during 2013 with selectboard approval.
In 2012, the selectboard requested of taxpayers for the town to go into negotiations with area towns to share a ladder truck. This year, the selectboard is requesting for the town to raise and/or appropriate money to replace their 1973 ladder truck with a newer used ladder truck. With an estimated cost of $120,000, more information will be available for discussion at the town meeting.
Over the last several years, the selectboard has requested funds for the repair of a one mile stretch of Farmers Hill Road. In 2012, citizens defeated a $300,000 bond request. That question is back on the warrant this year, but is asking taxpayers how much they are willing to spend for the repair.
The total budget, as requested by the town is roughly $730,000. If the budget passes as is, the town will have to vote as to whether or not they want to allow the board to increase the property tax levy by $231,337.46, as established by state law, in the event the municipal budget approved results in a tax commitment that is greater than the property tax levy limit.
In the event that taxpayers defeat the increase of the levy limit, the selectboard will have to go back to the drawing board and cut costs beyond their approved amounts.