December 12, 2019

Chapman voters OK municipal budget hike

CHAPMAN — Within 45 minutes last week, Chapman voters adopted a municipal budget in the amount of $269,402 and re-elected David Cambridge to a three-year term as selectman, assessor and overseer of the poor.

Approximately 30 voters at the March 27 town meeting increased their budget by $27,800 over last year to fund road improvements and pay the $2,100 cost of state-required upgrades in fire department equipment and related health issues.

Residents approved the transfer of $15,418 from the town’s surplus fund to add to the highway reserve account for its share of a new $74,000 loader for the combined use of Chapman, Mapleton and Castle Hill.

The municipal budget’s greatest expenditures are in the highway accounts. Operational costs were budgeted at $55,000. The $66,000 set aside for capital improvements is $18,000 higher than last year.

John Edgecomb, town manager, said that despite an estimated $8,000 increase in education costs and the $300 increase in county tax assessment, the healthy condition of the surplus funds and greater anticipated excise taxes and other payments to the town will enable a drop in the mill rate from $15.75 to $15.20 per $1,000 in property valuation.

For anticipated expenses associated with an interlocal agreement among the three communities, officials many years ago established reserve accounts for highway, fire department, recreation and office supplies.

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