Well, maybe not a marathon, but we are off and running. After Town Administrator Walter Johnson's overview of his budget recommendations, Department by department reviews began.
The TA's recommended budget is a decrease of 1.1% over 2015 or approximately $87k. It is very,very early in the process and many discussions still need to occur, but we are headed in the right direction. Many things still need to be decided and factored in to the budget. Ultimately, nothing will be final until it is approved at Town Meeting next March.
We heard today from Administration, Assessing, Executive Officers, Human Services, Tax Collector, Town Clerk and Elections and finally , Public Works.
Overall, the Town is in a very enviable financial position in that we have a large unexpended fund balance well over our 12.5% target. Using some of this excess will allow us to offset some planned capital spending and contributions to some reserve funds.
Human Services is again decreasing its budget request as active clients are far fewer than in previous years. Rae Davis's budget discussion was very brief, but it led to a lengthy and good discussion about housing and jobs. The cost to rent a house in Moultonboro is well above the income of many with low paying jobs and there are very few apartments available that are affordable to that sector of the population. This led to topics such as zoning ordinances and the Master Plan. The discussion occurs beginning at 1 hour 7 minutes into the video and ends at 1 hour 49 minutes.
Next budget worksession will be on Friday December 18th beginning at 08:30. Fire, Police, Recreation and Development Services will present their budget requests along with the TA recommended Capital spending.