After being directed by the Board of Selectmen to produce a first draft of the next municipal budget at the outset of the budget process, Raymond Town Manager, Don Willard, has done so. The budget also achieves a number of performance objectives set by the Board.

The budget he has drafted is compliant with LD1, a state statute which sets recommended spending limits.

Willard says,” This year the permitted level of increase under LD1 is 3.47% or $61,325.”

Willard also adheres to several other guidelines.

Keeping the town, school and county budgets (combined) level at last year’s mil rate of $10.20 per thousand valuation is a key objective. The owner of a house valued at $200,000 will still pay $2040. taxes annually.

Remaining mindful of the affirmative local vote for the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) is another of the selectmen’s guidelines

A comprehensive review of the current funding levels has been done.

The proposed budget figure 0f $3,708, 511. is an increase of $26,654 or .72% over last year’s gross municipal budget.

The manager has included in his draft six items which are adjustments and eliminations/reductions of core services.

No appropriation is slated for the Open Space Reserve account and a transfer of Dispatch Services to Naples to affect cost savings. There is no appropriation for the Water Safety Watch, a reduction of $3000.

Additions to the budget which reflect selectmen priorities include a new voting machine, a town hall security system, and an added appropriation of $40.000 for CIP paving.

There are six pending and unresolved items, including county tax figures which are unavailable at this time; but Willard says in a memo to the Selectmen that it …”is sure to be higher than the overall increase of 4.9% approved due to the likely greater than average growth in valuation in Raymond.

Also pending is a possible alternate regional dispatching proposal from the Town of Windham, with cost savings over the Naples option.

Willard says, “It is possible to simply cut the budget and therefore reduce taxes, but to do so would stall progress in areas needing attentions and in the longer run increase costs and future property taxes.”

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