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COVID-19 brings changes to proposed Rockport budget

By Jackson Long | Jun 30, 2020

Rockport — Multiple adjustments to the proposed Rockport Municipal budget have been made in order to alleviate some of the economic pains put on the town and taxpayers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The current proposed municipal budget is $4,128,074. The new budget is $76,060 less than the original proposed budget. The new budget is an increase of $65,735 from last year's budget.

The tax rate for the town is still being calculated. Town Manager Bill Post said that when he receives the amended revenue-sharing numbers he will be able to provide the estimated tax rate. "They are expected sometime in July," Post stated.

A date to vote on the budget has been set for Aug 18. The original date was June 10 but was delayed due to COVID-19.

Police Department

The net budget for the Police Department is $624,070. This is an increase of $27,775 from last year's budget. The increase in the budget will be used to increase wages and possibly benefits for staff. By increasing wages the department hopes to keep the quality of the staff consistent by reducing or eliminating personnel turnover.

Fire Department

The Fire Department has a net budget of $424,880. This is a 6.3% increase from last year’s budget. The increase will be used to help buy as necessary replacement equipment to keep the Fire Department running effectively.

Public Works

Public Works is budgeted at $1,464,463. This is a decrease of 4.1% from last year’s budget.

Opera House

The Opera House has a net budget of $61,050. The budget has decreased by 34.9% from last year’s budget. Part of the reason for the decrease is because of the rental payments. The rental payments have been re-estimated to bring in $10,000 instead of $19,000. This is due to the Governor’s orders that prohibit gatherings of 50 or more people.

Finance Department

$152,015 is budgeted for the finance department. This is a 27.2% increase. The increase in the budget is due to a pay increase for the Administrative Assistant, which is due to extra responsibilities added to the Administrative Assistant position.

Harbor

The Harbor has a net budget of $26,620. This is a decrease of 50.5% from last year’s budget. Expenses of $14,750 and revenue of $8,000 were cut due to COVID-19.

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