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April 07. 2014 7:33PM

Newport deliberative session deals with town salary, benefit increases

NEWPORT — Voters have a chance to discuss or amend warrant articles at the Town Meeting deliberative session tonight at 6 in the Newport Opera House/Town Hall.

Town Meeting ballot voting is Tuesday, May 13, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Town Hall.

Up for discussion tonight is the proposed $9,144,436 budget, which is a 3.7 percent increase over last year’s $8,816,961 operating budget.

Town Meeting voters are also being asked to approve increases in salaries and benefits for police as part of a collective bargaining agreement reached between the town and the police union for a new three-year contract. The estimated increases are $41,919 for the 2014/2015 fiscal year, $45,675 for the 2015/2016 fiscal year, and $41,506 in the 2016/2017 fiscal year.

A collective bargaining agreement between the town and the public works union for the next three years is also up for voter approval this year. Increases in salaries and benefits are estimated to be $9,434 for the 2014/2015 fiscal year, $21,729 for the 2015/2016 fiscal year, and $18,723 in the 2016/2017 fiscal year.

The town is also asking voters to approve $175,000 to enter a lease agreement for a new highway truck. The first year’s payment would be $60,000.

Also on the warrant is a request to spend $20,153 from the Police Capital Reserve Fund to update communication antennas on the Town Hall.

Another article asks for the creation of a Communications System Capital Reserve Fund and that $5,000 be added to it.

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