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June 17. 2013 7:07PM

Franklin budget excludes worker pay raises

FRANKLIN — The city manager is proposing a $10.08 million city budget for fiscal year 2014, which would not give city employees cost-of-living or step pay increases this year.

Though the proposed budget is about $20,000 less than the 2013 adopted budget, the effect on tax rates will not be known until the city’s rolling reassessment is complete, according to City Manager Elizabeth Dragon.

Public hearings on the reassessment will take place in August and September, she said.

“Likely, the tax rate will increase as values decrease to adjust for market conditions,” she said.

Cutting cost-of-living and step increases for city employees is necessary to offset the approximate $150,000 increase in New Hampshire Retirement System employer increases, which are mandatory, Dragon said.

The police department budget includes payment for two new cruisers on a lease-to-buy program and the second-year payment on a cruiser purchased last year. The police department had requested three new cruisers but it was necessary to cut to two, Dragon said; the amount requested in the city manager’s budget is $31,288.

The fire department includes funding for lease purchase of two defibrillators for $19,000. Lakes Region General Hospital is donating two automated CPR machines at a cost of $16,000 each.

There are two bond payments listed in the general fund, one for the court house bond and a bond for the Daniel Webster Bridge, both totaling $194,622 for fiscal year 2014.

Also among the capital expenditures is money for sewer and water work, some of which are already underway and paid for.

Using a government grant-loan program and money that has already been budgeted in past years, the city is getting a major upgrade to its water distribution system by replacing two structurally deficient and antiquated 500,000-gallon water tanks and about 8,600 feet of 12-inch water main.

The changes are essential to improve water volume, pressures and fire protection, and drinking water quality throughout West Franklin service area, Dragon said.


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