Manchester council OKs budget, increases tax rate

June 16, 1994|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,Sun Staff Writer

The Manchester Town Council has approved, by a 3-2 vote, a $1.36 million budget and increased the town's tax rate by 5 cents.

Council members Christopher D'Amario, Charlotte Collet and James Singer voted for the budget Tuesday night. Council members Kathryn Riley and Douglas Myers were opposed.

Despite the rise in the tax rate, to 46 cents per $100 of assessed value, the 1995 budget decreased by $89,000 from this year's $1.45 million. Manchester's 41-cent tax rate had been the county's lowest.

As a result of the changes in the budget, some town services previously paid for by fees, such as water used by the Fire Department, will now be paid for through taxes.

While total projected spending is less than the current fiscal year, the town's general fund -- which covers trash, police protection, roads and administration -- will grow from $602,910 to more than $654,700, an 8 percent jump.

The council postponed action on setting the town's water rate.

Mayor Earl A. J. "Tim" Warehime had proposed raising the water rate by 10 cents per 1,000 gallons.

Mr. Warehime said the water rate increase was necessary to help eliminate deficits that in the past were covered by transfers from the general fund.

The council rejected a motion by Councilwoman Riley to set the tax rate at 43 cents. Ms. Riley proposed changing a full-time maintenance position to part time. She also proposed transferring money out of the mayor and council training budget to the police budget to fill crossing guard positions.

Councilman D'Amario disagreed, saying the town needs a full-time maintenance position.

"I think it's pivotal we get a full-time worker," he said. "We get lots of complaints about the grass, and the parks are in terrible shape."

The council also voted down a proposal by Councilwoman Collet to set the tax rate at 50 cents. She proposed putting the extra $16,000 in a contingency fund for capital improvements.

In other business, the council postponed a decision on a new water meter system.

The water meter committee recommended purchasing an automated telephone water meter system.

Currently, 72 percent of the town's 953 meters are more than 10 years old, the committee said.

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