Wolfeboro selectmen's operating budget up 2.93%


by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News
November 14, 2013
WOLFEBORO — After a month of hearings with department heads, the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen voted on Nov. 6 to adopt a total 2014 budget of $24,526,600.

This total was down $1,709,054 from the $26,235,654 approved by voters for 2013 due to a sharply lower cost of purchased electricity for the Municipal Electric Department under a new contract that takes effect in 2014.

Excluding the four Enterprise Funds (Sewer, Water, Municipal Electric and Pop Whalen Ice Arena), the operating budget was $12,010,117, up $342,072 from the $11,668,046 approved by voters for 2013 – an increase of $342,072 or 2.93 percent.

The selectmen's budget now passes to the Budget Committee, which held its first review session on Wednesday, Nov. 13 and has scheduled additional hearings at 6 p.m. on the following dates: Thursday, Nov. 14 at the Community Center; Tuesday, Nov. 26 at the Public Library; Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Wolfeboro Inn ballroom; and Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 10 and 11, at the Wolfeboro Inn ballroom.

Draft warrant articles

The board also reviewed a "List of Potential 2014 Warrant Articles" and agreed to hold public presentations on them at their Nov. 20 meeting. The 14 money articles (in addition to the operating budget, discussed above) are as follows:

• Middleton Road Construction: $1,350,000 (total cost: the state will pay two thirds of the cost, leaving the town's share $450,000);

• Town Hall Reduced-Scope Renovation: $4,000,000 (total cost: the Friends of Wolfeboro Town Hall are raising funds for second floor costs with a goal of $1 million, leaving the town's share $3 million;

• Winnipesaukee Drive Reconstruction: $1,122,000, with principal and interest to be paid by property owners over 10 years through a Betterment Assessment on their tax rates;

• Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements: $250,000;

• Annual Road Upgrades: $625,000;

• Annual Sidewalk Upgrades: $100,000;

• DPW Facilities Upgrades: $160,000 (including a new and expanded salt shed);

• Temporary Relocation of Town Offices: To be determined (estimated at $50,000);

• Library Expansion Study: $30,000 (funds from library building trust fund, with no effect ton tax rate: construction not planned before 2016);

• Replace Electric Department Digger/Derrick Truck: $200,000 (funds from Enterprise Fund, with no effect on tax rate);

• Fire Trucks and Apparatus Replacement Capital Reserve Account: $176,000 (contribution to existing fund);

• Public Works Vehicle and Equipment Capital Reserve Account: $165,000 (contribution to existing fund);

• Town Office Facility Capital Reserve Account: $100,000 (contribution to existing fund); and

• Abenaki Ski Area Capital Reserve Account: $15,250.

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