Slight budget increase for WarrenWarrant set for town meeting
Warren — Town Manager Elaine Clark and the Board of Selectmen approved the warrant and 2014 proposed budget at the Feb. 26 meeting.
"We are very, very close to last year," said Clark of the budget — which shows a slight increase of $5,100 or 0.62 percent from 2013.
Clark noted the biggest factor in the budget process was assuming the projection on the State Registrar's website accurate for revenue sharing. Last year, Warren's figure was $270,000. This year's figure shows $72,000 less or $198,000.
"What you are going to see throughout are small reductions in many line items that add up to significant savings," said Clark.
The gross municipal budget was whittled to $2,192,627 — down from last year's approved budget of $2,264,729.
The net budget after deducting all revenues is $846,187, according to Clark.
"The budget committee and selectmen agreed on everything except for one line item," said Clark in a March 5 email. "This demonstrates the collegiality of the proceedings and mutual respect of the two entities," she added.
The departments saw the following adjustments from last year:
— General government, decrease of $6,278 or 14 percent, to $434,705 — with $4,561 coming from administration and $5,734 from code and planning
— Protections, increased to $441,870 from last year's $412,706 — with general protection up 10 percent, including $18,912 in hydrants and $12,999 increase in ambulance
— Operations, slightly down at $614,492 from $616,967 — as Public Works had a decrease of $4,353
— Culture and Recreation came in at $88,393, increased 16.5 percent — with the library seeing a $10,991 increase
— Unclassified dropped 13 percent or $45,363 to $307,573 — facilities and grounds was cut 15 percent or $19,083; personnel was decreased by 11 percent or $15,544; and social services and contributions took a 28 percent hit, down $10,736
— Capital improvement dropped the most, being cut by $60,299 or 16.5 percent to $304,979
The budget numbers include the actual Knox County budget and the revenue sharing projected, noted Clark.
Warren, like the four other towns in Regional School Unit 40, await the school budget — which is in the works.
Warren residents will vote on town affairs Monday, March 24, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the town office. Along with warrant articles, voters will be asked to elect one of two candidates seeking a three-year term on the board of selectmen.
Bill Lufkin and Marianne Pellicani are the candidates seeking to fill the vacancy of out-going selectman Dan Davey. Wayne Luce is the sole candidate to replace Doug Pope's three-year selectmen seat.
Incumbent Dennis Wooster is the only one seeking to fill a three-year term on the school board, while Robert Graham, John Cooke, and Mark Anderson turned in nomination papers for the three open three-year terms on the Warren Sanitary District.
Town meeting is set for Tuesday, March 25, at 7 p.m. at Warren Community School.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.