Despite a proposal to cut the proposed budget made on the Dublin Town Meeting floor on Saturday, residents ultimately passed the budget as presented, along with the rest of the unamended terms of reference.
Dublin Moderator Sterling Abram noted that Saturday’s town meeting was particularly fast-paced, ending around 11.30am with all articles passed without any approved amendments.
On the budget, Resident Geoff Pinney, one of this year’s nominees for the Select Board, has moved to reduce the proposal from $2,327,184 to $2,145,914.
Abram said the amendment was defeated on a “very final” show of hands, with voters then agreeing to pass the budget as originally proposed.
Again this year, the closest vote resulted in a $5,000 warrant item to support the Dublin Community Center. Last year, the same article ended in a dead tie, which was broken by moderator Tim Clark, who voted yes. This year, the community center item, asking for the same amount, was the only one to be done by secret ballot, according to Abram. Although not as close as last year’s vote, it was still the most controversial vote dealt with on Saturday, ultimately passing by less than 10 votes, in a vote tally of 67-58.
In less controversial articles, residents also agreed to donate $3,600 for the operation and publication of the Dublin Advocate newsletter and a total of $8,781 for various community organizations that provide services to Dublin residents.
Residents agreed to use $120,000 from the Town Building Maintenance Capital Reserve to make improvements to the Town Road Barn by adding an office and break room to the building.
In other articles, residents endorsed a $45,000 police cruiser and a $5,000 leaf vacuum for cemeteries.
Improvements to the city’s roads are expected to continue after approval of $185,000 for chip sealing, which will come from the balance of the unrestricted fund. As part of a larger item, totaling $335,000 for additions to the city’s capital reserve accounts, voters also approved $200,000 for road construction. In other accounts, voters approved $30,000 for road equipment, $15,000 for the police car, $30,000 for fire equipment, $10,000 for the repair and maintenance of the library and $50,000 for maintenance of municipal buildings.
The city also approved $13,760 to three enduring trusts: $6,400 for city reassessment, $1,000 for the city master plan, and $6,360 for repairing city buildings.
Voters also agreed to adjust the amounts needed to qualify for the city’s senior tax exemption. To benefit from it, an elderly resident can only have a certain amount of assets, excluding housing, and a certain level of income. Voters agreed to raise the ceiling on income limits and asset limits, as well as significantly increase the amount of taxes to be exempted.
Previously, a 65 to 74 year old could exempt up to $10,000 of the value of their property from tax, a 75 to 79 year old could exempt $15,000, and a person 80 or older could exempt $20,000. The new exemptions are respectively $40,000, $60,000 and $75,000.
The amount of assets a person can hold has also been increased from $35,000 to $50,000 for singles and married couples, and income limits have been raised to $30,000 for a single person or $40,000. $ for a couple.
Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172 ext. 244 or [email protected] She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.